While you were probably asleep, Adam Schefter of ESPN shared some news regarding free-agent wide receiver Greg Jennings.
And it’s on: Packers free-agent WR Greg Jennings is visiting today with…the Minnesota Vikings.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2013
It’s been speculated that the Vikings would have interest in Jennings for quite some time, especially after dealing away Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks. There’s a void at that position in Minnesota, and Jennings would appear to be an ideal candidate to fill it.
On the first day of free agency on Tuesday, however, Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com in the Twin Cities reported that the Vikings had cooled off on Jennings because his contract demands were too high.
Whether Jennings has softened to the idea of a contract worth less money of for a shorter period of time is unknown, but a visit is usually an indication of serious interest. Quite often, a free-agent will be offered a contract before leaving.
After Mike Wallace signed a lucrative contract with the Miami Dolphins as free agency opened (5 years, $60 millon), the rest of the deals signed by free agent wideouts have been more modest, to say the least.
On Wednesday Wes Welker joined the Denver Broncos on a two-year $12 million deal while Danny Amendola inked a five-year $31 million contract, both paying in the neighborhood of $6 million average per season.
Despite the free-agent market drying up, Jennings can probably still command a contract in excess of $6 million per year, but how much more is anyone’s guess.
One decision the Packers have to make is whether they want to see Jennings go to a division rival. If Jennings is in the price range of the Vikings, perhaps he’ll be in the price range of the Packers too.
And if the deals are similar, it makes sense that Jennings would want to return to the familiar environment where he’s built a rapport with his quarterback, coaches and fellow receivers in an offense he knows inside and out.
Whereas in Minnesota, he’d be going to an offense with a quarterback who has yet to prove himself at a high level in Christian Ponder and an offense that revolves around running back Adrian Peterson.
While Jennings to the Vikings may not move the needle like Brett Favre playing for the division rival, it is notable how much interest the Vikings have had in former Packers over the years, also including Ryan Longwell, Darren Sharper and Robert Ferguson.
The Packers will also have to decide how much money they have to pursue Jennings while still maintaining an interest in free-agent running back Steven Jackson. Do they have enough money to sign one or both?
And will the Packers be forced to find money to pay one or both by asking tight end Jermichael Finley to play for lesser money or cut him entirely? Linebacker A.J. Hawk could very likely find himself in the same situation.
Whatever happens, things are likely to move very quickly now. The odds that Jennings signs a deal by the end of the day are looking pretty good, the only question is where?