19

September

Matthews, Raji Could Make It Tough To Keep Greg Jennings

Greg JenningsWhen Bob McGinn suggested the Green Bay Packers should trade wide receiver Greg Jennings this year, many fans thought he was nuts despite being one of the most respected voices on the Packers beat.

The thinking of many fans, bloggers and beat writers alike was along the lines of, “receivers like Jennings don’t come around very often.  Ted would be nuts to let him walk.”

It’s a very easy argument to understand. Jennings and Aaron Rodgers share a unique chemistry and that’s not something Thompson can replace with draft pick, even a first round selection.   He’s also one of the most beloved players on the team by the fans so naturally they refuse to consider the idea of Jennings in any other colors than green and yellow.

That said, one must consider the reality of the situation.  Rodgers himself admitted it’s a very real possibility Jennings won’t be back in 2013.  Plus the Packers are faced with signing Jennings, Rodgers, Clay Matthews and BJ Raji in the next few years. Jordy Nelson also will need a new contract thanks to his stellar play.  It’s very possible one of them will be a casualty of simple math as the Packers try to stay a reasonable amount under the salary cap.

Unbelievably, that casualty very well could be Jennings.

Before the season began, many would have selected Raji out of those players to most likely be the one who is not brought back.  It made sense, given Raji’s lackluster performance (along with the rest of the defense) last season.   The Packers were and still are incredibly deep at wide receiver but thanks to how Mike McCarthy likes to run a multiple offense, it seemed like Jennings was a near-lock to be brought back.

Two games into 2012 however, the situation has taken a strange turn.

After getting burned by the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1, the Packers defense roared to live against Jay Cutler and the now supposedly explosive Chicago Bears offense.  In the 23-10 victory, the Packers sacked Cutler seven times, intercepted him four times and potentially may have sent the Bears into a season long tailspin.

Two of the key players in the defensive resurgence? Matthews and Raji.