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Greg Jennings not franchised by Packers, headed for free agency

March 05, 2013|By Chuck Schilken
  • Green Bay Packers receiver Greg Jennings, shown breaking a tackle by Minnesota's Chris Cook during the playoffs earlier this year, will become a free agent next week.
Green Bay Packers receiver Greg Jennings, shown breaking a tackle by Minnesota's… (Jonathan Daniel / Getty…)

Greg Jennings will hit the free agent market next week, meaning a seven-year run with the Green Bay Packers that included a Super Bowl victory is likely over.

The Packers declined to use their franchise tag on the star receiver, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported. They would have had to offer Jennings a one-year, $10.5-million contract in guaranteed money and decided instead to prepare for a potential salary-cap crunch.

Green Bay technically could still bring him back as a free agent, but top receivers are hard to come by this off-season so chances are another team will be willing to pay top dollar for the two-time Pro Bowler. New England, Minnesota, Seattle, Miami and the New York Jets are all considered possible suitors.

Jennings, 29, was drafted by the Packers in the second round of the 2006 draft and was the team's leading receiver from 2008-10. He has caught 425 passes for 6,537 yards and 53 touchdowns but has missed 11 games during the last two seasons.

Even without Jennings, the Packers would still have plenty of targets for quarterback Aaron Rodgers, including Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, James Jones and Jermichael Finley.

Green Bay is about $22 million under the salary cap but will be faced with signing the likes of Rodgers, linebacker Clay Matthews and defensive tackle B.J. Raji in the next few seasons. The team released veteran defensive back Charles Woodson, and longtime receiver Donald Driver retired this off-season.

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