Greg Jennings has been Aaron Rodgers‘ favorite receiver for going on six years now. But the times may be a changing in Green Bay.
Jennings has been the Packers’ most productive receiver and biggest red zone threat over the past five years, averaging about 70 catches, 1,100 yards and nine touchdowns over that span. But a lingering groin injury this season severely limited his production and sidelined him for eight games, forcing Rodgers to try out some new favorites. And he seems to like what he’s seen.
Randall Cobb has filled in almost seamlessly for Jennings on the outside, catching 77 balls for 892 yards and seven touchdowns through 14 games — not too shabby. Meanwhile, veteran receiver James Jones decided to make up for Jennings’ absence down near the goal line, leading the NFL with 12 touchdown receptions, which also just so happens to tie Jennings’ career high.
The duo of Cobb and Jones, combined with already established receivers Donald Driver, Jordy Nelson and tight end Jermichael Finley, makes for a terribly dangerous arsenal of weapons for Rodgers. But while Rodgers’ needs are fulfilled, Jennings’ presence may no longer be needed.
Jennings’ contract is set to expire at the end of this season. At just 29 years old and with plenty to show for on his NFL resume, Jennings should be in line for a nice payday this spring. But with so many quality receivers already donning Packers green, Green Bay may deem Jennings to be expendable and decide he’s not worth the $40 or $50-million contract he’ll likely be seeking.
Jennings has already somewhat accepted his departure as a reality, even telling NFL.com on Tuesday that his “educated guess” was this would be his last season with the Packers.
Even with Jennings’ own conjecture at the forefront, nothing is set in stone by any means. Nelson’s injured hamstring, which has kept him out of the past two games, could be worse than originally thought. Another guy could go down with a serious injury — although no one outside of Chicago is hoping for that. Or maybe Mike McCarthy just deems Jennings too valuable an asset to let go of.
So, Jennings’ future is by no means sealed. Whatever the future holds is still to be determined, and Jennings will undoubtedly play out every game with the same focus and dedication he has throughout his seven-year career.
But if Jennings is made available this offseason, you can immediately look to Cobb and Jones as the reasons why. Without their emergence this season, Jennings is more than likely still viewed as the no. 1 guy in Green Bay and would have a hefty contract in hand to prove it. Now, anything is possible, which more than likely means the end of Jennings’ time in Green Bay.
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Photo via Facebook/Greg-Jennings