Leading up to the visit, and eventual signing, of wide receiver Greg Jennings there were reports that the Packers were making an effort to keep him and there were varying reports regarding just where Jennings’ market measured up.
We already have discussed that Jennings signed a five year deal with the Vikings worth an average of about $9 million per year.
Now, Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel brings us details about just how things ended with the Packers, and also points out that the Vikings and Packers weren’t the only team interested in Jennings.
According to McGinn, Jennings turned down an extension offer from the Packers that averaged $11 million per year, because he was seeking something more in the neighborhood of $15 million. A concussion during training camp was followed by an abdominal injury that required surgery, and his perceived value obviously took a hit after those injuries prevented him from having a normal Jennings-type season on the field.
After all, Jennings had flat out missed half of the last 22 Packers games, and questions about his long term viability were being raised for the first time in his career.
Despite the injuries and a stacked depth chart, however, the Packers showed significant interest in retaining the 29 year old wide out. According to McGinn’s sources, Jennings had an offer from the Packers that averaged about $8 million per year. This was significantly less than what they offered him last year, and way less than the $15 million average he was originally seeking, so Jennings sat tight during the opening days of free agency to see if anyone stepped up.
With the deep-pocketed Miami Dolphins shelling out a bunch of money to Mike Wallace, and Seattle trading for Percy Harvin, the possible landing destinations for Jennings started to narrow. The New England Patriots did make an offer to Jennings, which averaged about $6 million per year, but those talks didn’t go very far, writes McGinn.
The Vikings, as Jennings puts it, “stepped up to the plate” with their contract offer following a wooing period in the Twin Cities.
It appears pretty obvious that the Vikings paid more than anyone else was willing to, but clearly less than the market thought Jennings was worth last year. The hope is that Jennings is able to return to his 2010 form and avoid future injuries so that the contract looks less like a desperation move, and more like a bargain.