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Greg Jennings: "The Way I Exited Green Bay Was Very Unprofessional"

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Greg Jennings: "The Way I Exited Green Bay Was Very Unprofessional"

Greg Jennings, echoing sentiments expressed to my colleague Maggie Gray over at Sports Illustrated a few months ago, has once again showed some public regret over how he handled his departure from the Green and Gold. 

This time, Jennings spoke with ESPN.com's Ben Goessling in an interview about the receiver's exit from Minnesota this offseason. 

Money quote from Jennings

The way I exited Green Bay was very unprofessional. But I don't feel any of that here. I felt more of a disrespect from Green Bay, honestly. It was more dealing with myself -- it was, 'Man, I really wanted to stay in Green Bay.' I really wanted to stay here [in Minnesota], but I've grown so much in my faith, to where I recognize where God is moving and making change.

It just was really something I was dealing with myself. I had to recognize that I had a level of pride to where I felt like, 'Wow, I went through all of this.' It was almost a sense of entitlement, like, 'Wow, I dedicated my entire career, and [there's] no fight, no want? It's almost like you disowned your child. But that's what I was feeling -- and again, selfishly. Bottom line, I was hurt, because I did want to stay. But I wasn't willingly embracing change at that moment. It's unfortunate, but I've been very apologetic to them personally. I don't have a lot of things where I wish it wouldn't have happened. I definitely wish I would have handled that better.

Packers fans may or may not remember that the Packers extended a contract to Jennings when he was being pursued by the Vikings, an offer that was more than fair. 

It's nice to see Jennings take some ownership of the way he handled his exit from Green Bay, especially now that he's not actively looking for work.

I have little doubt that years from now he'll be remembered much more for things like his thrilling touchdown catch in overtime against Denver or his touchdown in Super Bowl XLV than any of this contract nonsense. 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (42) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Chad Lundberg's picture

I know I'm in the minority, but I'm one of the few who really missed Greg Jennings. I never doubted that one day he was going to be sorry for what he did (unlike a certain someone). It's extremely easy for Pro Athletes to think of themselves so highly to point where you think the world revolves around you. Because to be honest, it kind of does. The media, the fans, the organizations, even the court (sometimes), will treat you like a God at times. It takes real guts for an athlete to admit he made a mistake.

I'm glad he's realizing his mistake, but I wish he had realized it sooner. I've said it before and I'll say it again. If we had Jennings we would have gone to the Super Bowl.

D.D. Driver's picture

I never got too upset with Jennings. Every professional athlete is a hyper-competitive egomaniac. You don't make it to the NFL if you are not.

The key is to try not to get too caught-up in the NFL golden-boy-PR-fluff-machine. That way when one of these players gets knocked down a peg and responds in a less than graceful fashion, you don't over react too much.

Jennings didn't beat anyone up or shoot anyone's dog.

Sticks and stones.

Irish_Cheesehead's picture

I appreciate what Jennings did in Green Bay, but I fail to see how re-signing Jennings would have put us in another Super Bowl. It's not like we didn't have receivers just as good if not better to take his place.

Chad Lundberg's picture

Think about the games where Davante Adams was the difference? Had Jennings been in GB, he would have been the difference maker in the NFC Championship game. Maybe even a few more games, and therefore the game would have been played in GB.

Spud Rapids's picture

Are we really going to go down that path? How many other players wouldn't we have been able to retain/sign with Jennings loaded salary on our cap? Heck we might not have got Julius Peppers and without him would have even been in that game to begin with?

I do not understand the love for aging wide receivers. If you asked me "who do you want for your #3 WR moving forward, Jennings or Adams?" I'd say Adams over and over as he has youth and upside.

Bearmeat's picture

Jennings prior to 2012? Yeah. Afterwards though? Nope. Dude doesn't have any wheels left, and as he was never a physical freak a la D. Thomas or Dez, he's now a mediocre receiver.

I'd rather have had Adams and Cobb than Jennings and Adams. Because Cobb (or maybe Jordy?) is who got GJs money.

adambrymer's picture

Well said, brother.

I liked GJ's personality when he was in GB, but since he left I have REALLY enjoyed the workmanlike mentality of all the GB WRs. Jordy, Cobb, Adams and the rest of the young guys are saying the right things, but I believe they really mean it, too. Aaron's star shines the brightest and they are A-OK with that.

Tundraboy's picture

All true. End was near as a top flight WR.

Chad Lundberg's picture

Wow. Just wow. Greg Jennings a mediocre WR? REALLY???? The Salary Cap? You mean the same cap that still has 10+ million in space every year? Because he would have been injured? Guess you got me there. We should just go ahead and make Tolzien the starting QB, can't afford to risk Rodger's health.

I can see right through all this nonsense, the simple fact of the matter is that none you like him and therefore refuse to see my point.

Irish_Cheesehead's picture

What you have to remember is that the Packers actually offered Jennings an extension a year earlier for more money than the Vikings paid him, but Jennings turned it down. So it's not exactly the case that the Packers didn't want Jennings back. Jennings made the choice to leave.

Chad Lundberg's picture

I never said it was TT's fault that Jenning left!!!!! Now you're putting words in my mouth!!!! All I said was that I wished he had been with the team and that he would have made a difference! Then everyone grabbed their pitch forks and yelled "heresy!"

Oppy's picture

Perhaps the reason why Jennings is apologetic about the way he handled things is directly tied to the fact he's not actively looking for work.

In other words, if he's considering hanging it up, perhaps he's simply attempting to say the right things so he can get back in the good graces of the green and gold in order to get his one-day contract, retire a Packer, and enjoy the lifetime of small benefits being a part of the Packer family offers retired players.

Retiring as a Packer is pretty attractive from a PR standpoint.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

He can try but that's not gonna happen. They have to bring Favre back into the fold. Almost no one cares if Greg Jennings retires a Packer.

Tarynfor12's picture

" Perhaps the reason why Jennings is apologetic about the way he handled things is directly tied to the fact he's not actively looking for work."

Didn't he sign with Miami weeks ago.

Oppy's picture

I apparently took the article's statement of Jennings not looking for work out of context.

I thought it implied he was adrift and not canvasing teams; I guess it meant he's got a job.

I guess you can tell how little I follow Jennings since his juvenile departure from GB.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Not the most apologetic apology I've seen.

Vrog's picture

"but I've grown so much in my faith, to where I recognize where God is moving and making change."

Give me a break!

zeke's picture

"It was almost a sense of entitlement"

See if you can spot the extra word in that sentence.

Space Manatee's picture

Yeah, it's entitlement for a person to want what they feel they are worth at their jobs.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Didn't the Packers offer him more originally than he ended up getting when he signed with the queens? Its not like he was low-balled by Ted. Ted made him a very respectful offer, something like 10 million per, iirc... could be wrong.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Yes, they did offer him more originally and he declined.

zeke's picture

Wanting what you are worth isn't entitlement; how you go about trying to get it may be. And of all the different words Jennings could have used in his statement, that's the one he chose. How odd.

porupack's picture

That is as good of apology as needed, and should be enough to bury ill will by packer fans. Can't fault an athlete for pride, and being hurt. Can't fault a guy for having too high esteem of oneself. I've made that mistake, and many have, and I've never been on such a stage and in highlight film. Packers were good to him, and he missed his chance. He's expressed his remorse, and most don't. No need to second guess his motives. He knows what we all know, that he knows he made big mistake. So enough. He was a good packer, and now a better guy and maybe his words (and story) impact other youngsters.

BradHTX's picture

Actually, I don't see this as an apology at all!

The one word that should never appear in a true apology is the word "but," because it negates everything that you said before it. For Jennings to acknowledge that the way he left Green Bay was unprofessional, but then say he felt disrespected, completely negates any real remorse he was expressing.

I also disagree that you "can't fault a guy for having too high self esteem." Too much self esteem is a fault, one usually called arrogance.

I don't really have any feelings about Jennings at this point. He was a good player but not a superstar; he contributed to a Super Bowl win and then left in a snit for more money and killed his own career by doing so. I don't have ill feelings toward him, but I don't need to see him come back and retire as a Packer. He's "just some guy" to me at this point; he doesn't need to apologize, because I really don't care.

J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

"just some guy" my sentiments exactly.

Oppy's picture

Jennings in GB kinda did produce like a superstar.

Ibleedgreenmore's picture

I know this might not be popular but I think these guys get so much I am the man thing. I can let it go, he sees he messed up and now wants to say oops I messed up.

Tarynfor12's picture

He would have been seen more contrite and better off simply reading the standard " I'm sorry " letter that has become the standard offering by players after being arrested.

D.D. Driver's picture

OT: Is there a way to deactivate the auto-play ads? Today, the advertisers are (very loudly at work) trying to sell me pharmaceuticals for painful menopausal sex.

"Don't take painful sex lying down!"

Yikes.

zeke's picture

What browser are you using? Google "ad blocking" and you should be able to find an extension that will help.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Corey, Nagler, Al; this is what happens when people get annoying multimedia ads.

Oppy's picture

The other thing that happens is the site gets paid.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

No one gets paid when the ads get blocked Oppy. They get paid for clicks and views, not root page loads.

Steve Cheez's picture

As long as we're griping, could somebody please take down the effing Seattle score?

FITZCORE1252's picture

This.

Tundraboy's picture

I think it's there to motivate us and maybe the team. It bugs me to no end.

Vrog's picture

Adblock Plus

johnnyd17's picture

as Sinatra , Elvis, and perhaps many others once crooned...regrets, ive had a few....but i did it my way...

cuphound's picture

Honestly? I'd rather give Jones a one day contract than retire Favre's number. Skin tone means nothing to me. Favre stung.

Tundraboy's picture

I'd rather they retire Hornung and Taylor.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Just to clarify, I can't be a fan of anyone who takes a picture of their "junk" and sends it electronically to anyone else (just had this conversation again with my youngest child about not sexting). I wouldn't really approve even if he sent it to his wife, less for a girlfriend, and to send it to a reporter is simply crass.

I can support Favre having his night and being inducted into the Packer Hall of Fame. I can give him his due based on his play and what he did for the Green Bay Packers. I can applaud politely.

Ferrari Driveer's picture

Thompson,

Do us all a favor and go post on a political forum. Most of us here are interested in football.

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