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Packers Ready To Let M.D. Jennings Hit the Market

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Packers Ready To Let M.D. Jennings Hit the Market

It's no secret that the Green Bay Packers' defense suffered from some, at times, downright horrible safety play in 2013. It would seem the team is ready to try and move on from that debacle as they prepare to re-shape their roster for 2014.

While attending the NFL Combine this past week, I heard quite reliably from more than one source that the Packers will not be tendering pending restricted free agent safety M.D. Jennings.

This doesn't come as a surprise given that the lowest tender, which would allow the Packers to match any contract offer, would pay Jennings $1.389 million. Looking at his tape from 2013, it's not hard to see why the team feels little reason to place that type of value on the fourth year pro.

This move doesn't preclude a return to the team next year. There's a good chance the Packers are running the Tom Crabtree playbook - letting Jennings test the market while remaining open to having him return on a minimum contract.

Much has been made about the sub-par play at safety and heading into 2014 with Jennings as a starter can't be an option for the team. But having a player back at the veterans minimum with starting experience and who knows the scheme would not be a bad thing.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (46) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Tony's picture

It wouldn't be the worst thing, but having someone eat up a roster spot when it's proven he can't play, scheme knowledge or not, isn't the best thing.

packeraaron's picture

I'm with you. I've wanted them to move on from Jennings for the last two years. But considering how he never lost his starting job no matter how horribly he played, it's pretty clear the Packers wouldn't mind having him back.

Hank Scorpio's picture

I'm not so sure that is clear, Aaron.

Look at what happened with Charlie Peprah. He started on a SB-winner and was gone 2 years later, before he was adequately replaced. I hope we see a repeat. Because it is clear Jennings is not the answer any more than Peprah was.

packeraaron's picture

It's clear when talking to people involved. Let's say that.

Hank Scorpio's picture

Well, you would know that better than I, clearly.

But that's unfortunate.

jeremy's picture

What do these people involved say they see in him? Just curious cause I know you asked...

jmac34's picture

I would mind having him back. Unfortunately, I have no say or involvement with the team.

Katsuya's picture

I don't know, Capers seems to have an infatuation with Jennings. IMO Jennings isn't even close to the player that Peprah was. Peprah was, at least, relatively assignment sure when he played. Jennings on the other hand is a weak tackler, consistently out of position, and even runs into the CB's occasionally. He doesn't belong on the field. Even Banjo showed he could play better than Jennings in the limited time he got, but Capers kept putting Jennings out there instead.I hope I am wrong, but I think he is gonna get the Jarrett Bush treatment.

Tony's picture

The Packers not minding if they have him back is concerning...

Hank Scorpio's picture

I hope "test the market" is code for "We're not signing him under any circumstances"

Lou's picture

Playing high school, college, and then military (USMC) football I have observed on each level where a player of lesser ability gets multiple chances to start based on his all out hustle and preparation that borders on obsession. You have to remember that coaches are "teachers" and they believe that player with their ability to coach can make up the difference in pure talent. That is the case study with Jennings who not only lacks instincts but the average size to play in the NFL (180 soaking wet)that makes him even as a willing tackler inconsistent. Bigby before his leg injuries was competent, and Peprah was average, but based on both safeties this year an upgrade. Jennings has to go.

Pack88's picture

Lou: You make a very good point: Coaches and leaders select and offer opportunities to people who they feel most comfortable with; on the football field many times the smartest most aware player is many times better than the athletic player who is clueless, how often do we see aging vets play because they know where they are supposed to be! the trick is to find the gifted and aware (Randall Cobb)

WKUPackFan's picture

That's so true. A team needs both the smartest and most aware players and the athletic (but not totally clueless) players on the field, the goal is to find the right mix. It's impossible to find 22 Cobb's, unfortunately. Right now GB's defense has two of the gifted and aware, CM3 and Hayward. It would be nice to have some more.

L's picture

"But having a player back at the veterans minimum with starting experience and who knows the scheme would not be a bad thing."

As long as no money is guaranteed I'm all for him returning as a training camp body to increase the competition given they don't bring several other veterans to do just that.

Anyways, this doesn't mean that he'll make the 53 man roster -- it only means that he's given an opportunity to compete; plus, even if he didn't make the 53 man roster it could mean that if he didn't land a job elsewhere the Pack could have a potential player who could be picked up off the street mid-season in case of injuries who would know the system.

packeraaron's picture

Exactly my thinking L.

Mean Jean's picture

I don't care if he knows the system and plays for free, if he can't make plays then what's the point. IMO Packers give marginal players way too many years to prove that they can't cut it.

Derek in CO's picture

Brass finally realized he is not an NFL caliber player. He'll be out of NFL next year.

Drealyn Williams's picture

**Pop Locks** Yes!

Aeric's picture

When has M.D. Jennings EVER looked like he "knew the scheme"?

jeremy's picture

Ha - Casey Heyward is the only one who always does.

WKUPackFan's picture

With Hayward back and a new SS, hopefully more of the secondary will look like they know the scheme.

Stroh's picture

Burnett is really the SS. Although since he's been playing next to Jennings he has to play almost 2 positions! LOL

KennyPayne's picture

The first question is, who thought M.D. Jennings was a starting caliber NFL Safety in 2012 and 2013 and are they being held accountable for their gross misevaluation?

The second questions is, who thought Jerron McMillian was a NFL caliber Safety?

Hank Scorpio's picture

We don't really know the answer there. Ultimately, I guess it is TT but I'm not ready to advocate his dismissal over this one failure. Although it was a pretty massive failure.

Certainly the guy responsible for turning Jennings and McMillian into players isn't being held accountable. It doesn't look like Darren Perry is being fired anytime soon. He is actually rumored for the occasional promotion here and there.

Brooklyn81's picture

Good riddens

Greenville's picture

And the mentally ill decision making by Thompson even considering bring him back cheap if he dosent sign a contract with another team. This Is the reason why this deffense has suffered for so long. I wouldn't bring him back at all. A vetran that can actually play pluse drafting a guy is good enough. If we feel as tho neither of those top 2 safeties wont be there in the draft when we pick.

4thand1's picture

I think the DC has some blame to accept here also. Why wasn't he saying, Ted get me a fucking safety?

Hank Scorpio's picture

For all we know, Capers is saying "Ted, I can work with these Safeties".

jeremy's picture

For all we know he was saying, "Ted, these safeties suck and can't learn the scheme. I'm tearing my toupee off trying to find a way to teach them."

4thand1's picture

Jennings must have been one of those guys that looked good in practiced but sucked on game days. Either that or he was Capers bitch. He seemed to get worse instead of better. Looks like the defense is changing already.

Idiot Fan's picture

I don't really have anything to base this on, but I really think that the plan/hope was that McMillian was going to take that second-year leap and the duo of Burnett and McMillian would be a decent combination. I think when McMillian turned out to be terrible, that thrust Jennings into a starting position unexpectedly. I don't know what went wrong with McMillian, but he's the real disappointment in my book.

FITZCORE1252's picture

All I can hope is some team plays the Colts to his Walden. If that team were duh bares, that would be swell.

Point Packer's picture

Ha. Funny. I share your feelings on this front.

Idiot Fan's picture

The Vikings sign all of our other FAs, is it too much to hope that they take this one as well?

HUMP's picture

i will gladly start a donation fund on this website to get him a plane ticket,to get the f^%k out of green bay!!!! of course i posted this same statement here a year ago and was told not to be so pessimistic :)

Point Packer's picture

Not by me.

Alexander Pisoff's picture

Gosh it would have been so wonderful if these late round picks of Teds actually had speed, skills and talent. Ted is throwing darts at the board hoping to hit a home run.
Ted your defense was exposed for what it really was once Rogers got hurt. Time to dump the deadwood not ask them back on the cheap to save another dime.

4thand1's picture

Put about 10 or 12 safeties in a locked room and take the last 3 or 4 standing. The tough ones should survive. We need tough.

ray nichkee's picture

I can't wait to see what happens to MD. The best thing that can happen is if some other team in our division or conference gives him a contract. That probably won't happen and depending on the draft he will be brought back for the vet minimum for an extra body in training camp. I hope he goes to the queens. They could use his help.

Albert Lingerfeld's picture

The Packers let a dback go in December, funny no one picked the guy up and he is out of football.
Personally I feel the draft and development plan is not working. It can work if you have later round picks learn the system over time and their skill sets are evaluated over time.
However, the fallacy with Ted T is these guys are making the team and starting on day one. That is not draft and development.

Lou's picture

The Chiefs signed McMillian on January 12th to a futures deal. Maybe Dorsey and Andy Reed can get something out of him. He was used to send a message in the Packer locker room when they waived him.

Ma Linger's picture

There are saying that Pryor only measured at 5'11 not the 6'2 the combine books said he was supposed to measure in at based in reports. Who knows maybe his stock dropped and he may be available now. His broad and height jump were no spectacular either.

Evan's picture

Greg Bedard has MD Jennings as the #100 free agent available. Even coming in dead last still strikes me as too high.

Point Packer's picture

From the article:

"Didn’t look the part of a starter last season when given an opportunity. Packers may not tender him at $1.4 million, but he’s flashed some talent. Best fit: Eagles. They need help at safety, and a change of scenery might help him."

"but he's flashed some talent." Sure, actually not at all. These "lists" are always bogus. When has MD Jennings "flashed talent"? Never. That author is on drugs.

Bat the ball down. I hope whatever team takes him (if that happens) is on our 2014 schedule.

Evan's picture

It's Greg Bedard, who knows his shit.

To see MD Jennings #100 and have EDS no where is insane to me. Not that EDS is an all-pro, but he's certainly better than Jennings.

Jordan's picture

I've been harping about safety since Collins was injured.

Safety play will also improve if the Packers got more pressure on the QB.

I'm not an MD Jennings fan at all. But whoever takes his place is probably going to get the added benefit of a better pass rush with Matthews healthy. Quarterbacks sometimes make more mistakes when they're feeling the heat. Burnett will benefit too from a better pass rush and better front 7 defense in 2014.

Healthy Matthews, b. jones, better Datone, better perry, Daniels, worthy, and draft pick should all improve the safety play.

Remember now, Nick Collins XLV touchdown was sparked by Howard greens pass rush on hit on Big Ben. Ed reed greatly benefitted from a relentless Baltimore pass rush. Etc etc...

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