5

September

Greg Jennings And His Contract: The Sky is Not Falling

Greg Jennings

Could Greg Jennings be putting a different team on his back in 2013? Not likely.

The 2012 NFL season literally just got underway and already some Green Bay Packer fans are thinking about the 2013 offseason.

Thanks to some recent comments by free agent-to-be Greg Jennings and his MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers,  it’s becoming clear that Jennings could be playing the 2013 season in a uniform other than the Green and Gold.

First, here is what Jennings had to say on the matter on ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the morning:

“I definitely want to be here, but understanding the nature of the business, you never know. There is really nothing else I can really say or do. The ball is not in my court at all. I have to play the cards that I’m dealt. Right now it’s football. That’s my focus.”

This really isn’t a cause for panic nor is it really any different than what he has said in the past.  Jennings has maintained all along he wants to remain a Green Bay Packer.  This mindset is the best for the Packers if this indeed truly Jennings’ mindset right now.

What Rodgers had to say, however, probably raised more than a few eyebrows.  Here’s what he told ESPN Milwaukee’s Jason Wilde on his weekly radio show on ESPN 540:

“I think you have to be realistic about it and think that it might be. I have loved my time with Greg. Greg and I are going to be buddies whether he’s here or not.”

The fact that Rodgers used “loved” vs. “love” is likely what has caught everyone’s attention.  Knowing that the Packers will very soon be faced with resigning Jennings, Rodgers, Clay Matthews and BJ Raji, as well as a possible pay raise for Jordy Nelson there seems to be a thought that thanks to these recent remarks there’s a good chance #85 will be elsewhere next year.

Folks, relax. While I am not inside the heads of Ted Thompson and Russ Ball, I would be willing to bet that Jennings isn’t going anywhere outside the state of Wisconsin.

Jennings’ recent comments are part of the all too familiar part of contract negotiations called “posturing.” Jennings (or more accurately, his agent) is publicly conveying the message that while he wants to remain in Green Bay, he is prepared to move on.  This is designed to force the team to sweeten its deal under the threat of one of its star players moving on.

17

July

Brees’ New Deal: The Impact on Aaron Rodgers And The Packers

Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees

Two quarterbacks, two rings and a whole lot of money

When the Green Bay Packers play the New Orleans Saints on September 30 at Lambeau Field, Aaron Rodgers needs to find Drew Brees and give him a big hug because Brees has just made a Rodgers a very rich man.

Last week Brees signed a five-year deal worth $100 million, with $40 million guaranteed for 2012 alone and $60 million guaranteed overall.  This all but ensures Brees will be a New Orleans Saint for life (though stranger things have happened, right Peyton?).

Meanwhile, Rodgers mentioned earlier in the offseason that he wanted to remain a Packer for the rest of his career.  Rodgers is under contract through 2014 with a base salary of $8 million for 2012, $9.25 for 2013 and $10.25 million for 2014 respectively.  By Brees’ standards, these are paltry numbers especially for the player ranked number one over Brees as the best player in the NFL as voted by players themselves.

Keep in mind Rodgers signed his current contract in 2008, only one year into his tenure as the Packers starting quarterback.  Rodgers showed potential despite the team’s 6-10 record, but he had not yet fully developed into the superstar we know and love today.  With his performance in 2010 and 2011, Rodgers is a relative steal at his current salary.

That’s why it’s a given Rodgers is in for one heck of a raise even without Brees’ new contract raising the bar as much as it has.  So what effect will the contract the Saints just handed to their quarterback have on Rodgers and the Packers?

Well, there are some things to keep in perspective here.  Rodgers is 28, Brees is 33.  Rodgers will likely sign two more contracts before retirement while this is very possibly the last one Brees will sign.  Even if the Packers sign Rodgers to seven year deal, he would only be 35 at the time and will likely still have more left in the tank.  Peyton Manning signed a five year deal with the Broncos which would put him at 41, though it’s unclear if Manning will actually play all five years with the uncertainty of his neck injury.