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The back and forth on Jennings, Finley in Green Bay

Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. No.

Enough!

As free agency inches closer by the day, as the NFL combine winds down this week, as a negotiating window between free agents and teams opens March 9, the back and forth on what previously seemed certain gets more convoluted.

This applies specifically to the situation in Green Bay surrounding wide receiver Greg Jennings and tight end Jermichael Finley.

Let me address Finley first:

Remember that the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal reported in mid December the Packers had decided to part ways with Finley after the season. The reason for this divorce was said to be Finley's dropped passes, inconsistent production and a little bit of an attitude toward his work and place on the team.

Well, over the weekend the same newspaper, indeed the same reporter, reported  the certainty of December has become muddled in February. Yes. No. Yes. No.

Apparently, the team is "torn" whether or not to get rid of Finley -- most likely by simply cutting him.

So that, by definition means he might stay. So that, by definition means we will have wasted many minutes, words and brain cells on this topic. For nothing.

Bottom line here is Finley might remain with his team even as many Dolphins fans considered him a possibility for their team.

(You remember the post I put up a few days ago about how fans and media often react faster than the teams relative to rumors of players becoming available? Now you see why teams take a more systematic approach.)

So Finley might not be available.

The Packers, meanwhile, are not denying the rumor that Greg Jennings, a couple of weeks from hitting free agency and an almost certain target of the Dolphins, might be franchised.

That rumor was floated over the weekend by The NFL Network.

And Green Bay GM Ted Thompson, who once interviewed to be Miami's GM although he didn't get the gig, didn't dispel the rumor in any way.

"We think it’s a good way to manage the NFL if you’re able to retain your own players," Thompson said at the NFL combine, "We’d very much like to do that, and that includes Greg."

So the player who was certain to hit free agency now might be franchised. Yes. No. Yes. No.

Of course, this begs the question: Why?

The Packers clearly are not in a cap position to invest the approximate $10.4 million cap hit on Jennings it would cost. They have talent at wide receiver. Jennings is coming off an injury-filled season. And he's going to be 30 years old.

So he's the franchise tag target?

Well, there's this theory from yours truly:

Perhaps the Packers are fully aware there will be interest in Jennings, including from the Dolphins and want to somehow work in a way to get something in return for the player. The only way to do that is to tag him and then let another team work out a trade for the player and sign him to a new deal.

Why is this possible?

Well, the Packers might want to get, say, a fifth-round pick out of the deal. And a team that knows it will be chasing Jennings might not mind giving up such a pick in exchange for the certainty of getting the player in trade rather than fishing for him in unrestricted free agency.

That alone might convince the Packers to tag Jennings, if only temporarily.

There's also the possibility the Packers simply don't want to lose a good player but also don't want to commit to him long-term because of his age and recent injury history. So a one-year franchise tag keeps him in Green Bay but doesn't commit the team to the major guaranteed money Jennings is seeking.

Both are possible.

By the way, the same newspaper and again the same reporter that reported the back and forth on Finley today tweeted that Joe Philbin isn't a huge fan of Jennings. I buy that. But that's because I don't think Philbin is a "huge fan" of many players. He's frankly a cup of coffee short of a coma. The guy doesn't get too high about anyone. And he doesn't get too low about anyone.

He simply is ... steady.

He's not jumping on tables for anybody.

The Dolphins plan to talk to Jennings at this point. That has not changed.

Now, you want my opinion on this Jennings matter? If not, you are finished. Go to the comments section. If so, read on.

Opinion:

I don't think the Packers are going to tag Jennings because 1. They can't spare that kind of cap space. 2. They don't usually play games like that. 3. Having Jennings at over $10 million in 2013 would mean he's making more than quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who is scheduled to make $9.25 million, and that is not good for your cap structure.

Remember we had this very discussion last year with Matt Flynn. Would the Packers tag Flynn to get something, anything for him before he hit free agency? Ultimately, the team didn't tag Flynn.

Jennings may obviously be a different case. But I don't see Thompson as being a different person. Just a guess.

I suppose the point of all this is we don't have certainty on Jennings or Finley. Two months ago Finley was off the Packers. Now, he's possibly on the Packers. A month ago, Jennings was done in Green Bay. Now, he might get tagged.

Yes. No. Yes. No. 

Comments

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I was never completely sold on him, so they game and the stuff that happened afterwards never rally bothered me.

Posted by: Craig M | February 25, 2013 at 03:19 PM
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I get it Craig and I agree. Speaking as a fan or someone thats drawn conclusions and has convictions.

I was thinking more in terms of(an Armchair GM-lol)evaluating players.

Your last paragraph above pretty much sums up my feelings on Teo as well. Of course I can't help but drool over the THOUGHT of getting another Zach or Lewis to plug the middle. I'm just not sold on Teo, 4.8 - 40's and the Bama Game aside.

Nothings wrong with ogletree other DUI. I beleive someone is confusing Ogletree with jarvis Jones

I've been watching the combine (not just 40 X's but drills as well) and came away incredibly unimpressed by T.E. Z.Ertz (4.76/40) and dropped alot of passes in the drills along with showing sloppy footwork in the cones. I was blasted on here during last Season for being an Eiffert fan but he ran a much better 40 (some here said Ertz was faster) and Eiffert also killed it in his drills dropping all of one pass and looking fluid in the cones showing good footwork ect...

I saw it during the Season Vs. UM and later against Okla. and IMO the only N.D. player (Coaches included) that had any business Vs. Bama last January. He was a Basketball player before and like a few Power Forwards who've made the jump seems to have a knack of playing the ball in the air like he was under the rim looking for a rebound out jumping everybody. His 40 yard X put in perspective was also solid given Gronk ran an official 4.65/40 with Graham and Hernandez running in the 4.58's and the GREAT A.Gates who NEVER ran at the combine has been clocked in the 4.6 region.

yes craig they have made many changes. they traded fror alex smith and now are trying very hard to trade down. they will franchise either bowe or alberts

Don't get me wrong I don't believe him worth the 12th pick but now am contemplating what a trade down could do for us if the compensation is another #2. He won't make it out of late RD-1 were I think the Skins, Seahawks (dumping Z.Miller's big contract)or even Giants will pass. If off the boards then X.Rhodes will be a nice consolation prize with Amerson moving up boards with his size (6'3"/195 Pds - 4.44/40) but call me CRAZY I'm thinking his vitals remind to much of S.Smith and in watching video seems to also avoid contact.

We need to sign a WR (Wallace) for sure but have options into RD-2 and even 3 with some of the prospects available. I understand the man crush on Cordelle Patterson given freakish size/speed after posting a 4.37/40 but then ask yourself why he isn't going top 5 overall and the answer is he's a lousy route runner who will need to learn at the next level and then you have to ask if you want to invest the 12th pick on him if we stay at that spot given he will take time. At Tenn. he ran alot of hitch and shallow routes in order to get him the ball quick but in the NFL he will have to open up his game.

"The question I think will be interesting is how bad is Jones' injury situation. Is it something that is going to shorten his career? I've heard mized on this and of course we don't know the true story. But if for some reason this guy drops, is he worth the risk at 12. Great football player. Without knowing the whole story, I'd say yes."

Craig,

Not at 12. I remember Saban saying that Crowder had a back/spine issue as well after he was drafted & said he didn't know how long Crowder would play. Well...It wasn't that long.

dusty,

The Smith trade is just a rumour right now (rumoured to be a third). Not sure they can even do anything until the start of the new season but yes, it's likely done. Makes me wonder if a guy like Matt Moore ends up in SF next year backing up Kaepernick.

I'll say, I like Jarvis Jones a lot. Don't know how bad the situation is but my guess is someone takes a chance on him before he reaches us. Just a really gifted player if healthy.

not a rumor, bad kept secret. known here in kc for last couple days deal was done. cant announce it till march 12. 100 percent agree on jones being gone, he wont get past 5

Nothings wrong with ogletree other DUI. I beleive someone is confusing Ogletree with jarvis Jones

Mark in Toronto | February 25, 2013 at 03:47 PM

If by some stroke of luck Jarvis Jones fell to us at pick 12 then for me all bets are off. I understand that the now very protective NFL will have you believe that the Spinal stenosis thing is serious stuff but they forget how many guys played with it in the past including our very own Bryan Cox who wore special protection in his shoulder pads for it and that's the one diagnosed we know of.

fin4life,

I like that strategy too. I've ALWAYS liked that strategy. If we could trade down 8-10 spots and still get Ertz (yes I know you're not sold and prefer Eiffert)and a second round pick, that would be just fine with me.

Guys, wasn't there something like that surrounding Gronk when he came out? Wasn't that part of the issue. Lot of risk attached to it.

I don't know anything about what the condition is and how bad it is but he's a dynamic player. Would fit well on this team.

Jarvis Jones is definitely the playmaker type we need. I take him in a second if the doctors give you the thumbs up. But if we get tthe thumbs up then def one of the teams ahead of us will too. Don't think he's getting to us.

"We need to sign a WR (Wallace) for sure but have options into RD-2 and even 3 with some of the prospects available. I understand the man crush on Cordelle Patterson given freakish size/speed after posting a 4.37/40 but then ask yourself why he isn't going top 5 overall and the answer is he's a lousy route runner who will need to learn at the next level and then you have to ask if you want to invest the 12th pick on him if we stay at that spot given he will take time. At Tenn. he ran alot of hitch and shallow routes in order to get him the ball quick but in the NFL he will have to open up his game."

Cordarrelle was hand timed at 4.37 but officially ran a 4.42 (which is also sick for a kid that size) BUT other that I agree with you 100% on Patterson. Did you see all of the drops he had in the drills???

BTW--I could be wrong & yes Eifert had a better combine but I think Ertz is going to be the better TE. Not sure how many Stanford games you watched but this guy is going to score a lot of TD's. However, I do agree that Eifert was probably the only ND player that showed he belonged in that game against Bama. Eifert has good hands & he can jump.

I'm not a fan of trading down. Not to say it doesn't have rewards.
Besides we have 2 2nds, and 2 3rds this year. Unless you want to take a guess on whats out there next year... just take your picks like a man and see what we can do with them.

Its not a shock that philbin isnt that big on jennings, why should he be...he's a good playmaking wideout,but he brings just as much concerns to this team as any FA WR would...and despite what most people like to believe, some old coordinator coaches from former teams that become head coaches may not like trying to create their own image by taking players from their old team to build a foundation of success....

Philbin enjoyed his time in GB in that i have no doubt and thinks highly of the players but to then be in the position he is now and to start plucking players from his former team isnt exactly translating into "your" team and people might consider him to just be rolling the dice with his old crew in GB just because of fimiliarity involved..I think theyll look at jennings and finley if released the same they did with matt flynn, interested but by no means overvaluing their assets to the team

Vance McDonald benched 31 times ... crazy for a TE ... one with good receiving skills.

mark zero chance jones is avail in the 2nd or even the 6th pick of draft

Your last paragraph above pretty much sums up my feelings on Teo as well. Of course I can't help but drool over the THOUGHT of getting another Zach or Lewis to plug the middle. I'm just not sold on Teo, 4.8 - 40's and the Bama Game aside.

odinseye | February 25, 2013 at 03:46 PM

While I enjoyed Zach's time manning the MLB spot for Miami I've never shaken the feeling he was the ALL TIME PASS for JJ passing on R.Lewis at pick 26 in 96 taking Darryl Gardner who aside from being a perennial slacker had lower back issues that cut his career very short.

No doubt JJ was out to prove his Dallas FL. heavy drafts were no fluke and he knew how to pick them but he passed on the G.O.A.T. in Lewis who brought more than just his ability to the table.

Just me tghinking out loud, but...
If Georgia Drs cleared Jones to play after fixing him themselves, they'd be subject to some pretty program-crushing lawsuits if he was injured from that condition. So Thye at least were confident he was set for a while.

What happens after a career of NFL hitting, and arthritis and swelling and so forth start taking their toll and making him a bent old man - well that's his choice. But if the prssure on the spine is relieved properly, then it would be the "possibilites" of other maladies that may occur that"can be" associated with his condition. Arthritis, bulging disk, etc.

So, all that means whatever.
My guess is that he doesn't fall out of the first round. One lucky team down near the bottom will be blinking in surprise that he could fall to them. Bad idea or good idea, I doubt he gets past that round.

Remember that we also drafted this kid Josh Kaddu who is an ILB from Oregon last year. I have no idea why but Kaddu was the player that Phibin said has the potential he's the most excited about next year. If Ireland said that I'd laugh it off but Philbin is not a joke.

JS,

From all indications this is a DEEP draft. The way things sit right now, I think we're going to be reaching with whoeer we take at 12. Only guys that might be the exception are Warmack or if one of the DE's fall. I like the two TEs but I think either is a reach at 12. Patterson may be a reach at 12 also but if they love him, they have ot take him. But to trade back and get a guy like Ertz at 20 AND a guy like Elam in the second....well that would just be gravy.

craig might be deep with avg players. its being called one of the worst drafts in last 20 years. basically a bunch of role players in the nfl

ertz will be picked in second rd

No I don't think it will be 'average players' dusty. Looks to be some really good players in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounds. I'm just not sure the real 'franchise' players are that clearly identifiable this year. I still believe we could come out of the draft with some good players to add to the roster.

well we better craig, if we dont that will be a huge disaster

For example, I REALLY like this kid Elam from Florida. I think he'd be a great get in the second round. Lots of guys like that out there.

not sure about drafting at safety. bigger needs. we would prob have to use our 2nd pick to get him

That's what I'm saying dusty. If we traded back and had THREE second round picks he'd be a great pick in the second.

Try and follow along will ya....

..Mark in Toronto..Ogletree had the awesome play where he returned the block kick, and a good play on the goal line where he crushed Lacy.. But as far as linebacker play in that game. I would have to disagree. With the exception of the play on the goal line, he got handled. He was constantly being blocked off the play. How many of those tackles did he make in the second level? How many did he miss? It wasn't a good game for him as far as purely evaluating linebacker play.

What we did see was his big play ability(speed on the blocked kick) and he can hit....I will give him that he can hit. Look I like Ogletree. He is a saftey in linebacker pads. He is more what we need as far as a linebacker then TE'O(IMO) I just wanted to point out that a lot of people are harshing TE'O for his performance v. Bama. I wanted to give another example of a high profile player that also did not have his best showing v the Tide.

why trade back?? depends on how far u are talking. cant keep going backwards. take a damn good player at 12

Posted by: Craig M | February 25, 2013 at 03:44 PM

Ive been reading reports out of the Chiefs fo that both Albert and Bowe are top priorities to keep this offseason. Even if they have to use the fran-tag on one.

looks more and more like smith will be franchised, ireland will panick since so many teams want smith. on a good note though least we know bush is gone for sure now so we can quit talking about it. its miller time!

dusty,

I don't think you're following. There is NO clear-cut good player at 12. There may be but who's the slam-dunk guy? I don't seem him. Even if a guy like Jones falls, he's going to come with health questions. Not sure how bad it is but we could be talking about a guy who has a short career. That's why I like the idea of trading back a few spots and getting an extra second. Very little difference I believe in the guy you get at 12 and the guy you get at 40. That's what I'm hearing a lot of.

yup said that yesterday. on radio everyday here. whichever one they cant get done long term they will franchise. they prefer to franchise laberts. now that they traded for alex smith they really want to trade down but havent found much interest

theres no clear cut good player anywhere in this draft. so ireland better find one at 12, he has to get this right.

YG and dusty,

The talk is a deal is done with SF for Smith. That comes with a cap hit of $8.5 mil. It's going to take $10 mil to franchise Albert and $11mil+ for Bowe. With the LT staring them in the face for a fraction of what Albert wants, why would they franchise Albert? I also don't like Bowe at $11 mil. Do you? Far better to add a guy or two in the draft, again at a reduced cost.

i dont like bowe either, but reid sure does. guessing bowe signs long term deal and they franchise albert. dorsey never answers the question on if albert has to be the lt, always goes around it. so they could take joekel also

Craig,
I love Elam. He would lock up a safety job for his career. But not in the first, where he's expected to be grabbed (late 1st, top 2nd).
Not a fan of the two top TEs, but wouldn't mind them on my team. Just want so much bigger splash in the 1st than a TE or safety. But I can't complain, - at least it's better than another tackle or guard.

dusty and YG,

I'm showing the Chiefs at around $120mil for next season. Where are they getting the room to trade for Smith, have him count $8.5 on the books, franchise Albert or Bowe, sign the other guy to a long term deal and then sign all their draft picks. Not getting your plan here.

CraigM,

IMO, in our situation, it has little to do with "CLEARCUT" #12 pick. It has more to do with "MOST BANG FOR THE BUCK".

Say we dont resign Long, then OT becomes a huge need.Cant expect to plug crap on the other end of J-Mart and expect Tannehill to have a great season regardles of how the recieving corps is revamped.

We dont get Wallace or Jennings, then the wr corps is still greatly suspect. Dont resign Smith and cb is greatly suspect.

Just these 3 positions and scenarios alone, Wemay not consider there's a guy #12 pick worthy, but its more wise not to pass on bpa for any of these picks by using the #12, and end up being sorry we didnt by picking a lesser player.

So IMO, its all about what happens in fa, if whetheror not, it's wise to use the #12 pick on a player.

So last week we get a story that 'the Dolphins will go hard after Wallace in FA'. This week we can a story that 'the Dolphins HC isn't necessarily a big fan of Jennings'. Sense a pattern here, guys?

Could it be a smokescreen for what the Dolphins really want to do in FA? Just asking.

DD, I would agree with your assessment on Ogletree v Alabama. The run defense got steamrolled but even in defeat you saw Ogletree punch back is what my point was. Even in a bad game, he ehlped give them a chance to win against the biggest and baddest team in the country. I liked that ... I guess it's a silver lining.

kc is around 13 mill under cap already. cassel,jackson to be cut. dorsey long gone

kc fans not happy about alex smith. they want gino smith badly

sure hope not craig, i have no interest in jennings

YG is prob right. We will use the 12th pick. And it may damned well be a tackle. Ugh.

Why the heck do we think that no other rounds besides 1st and 2nd are suitable to find starting offensive linemen, ...but playmakers can be found in the bargain bin?

I doubt everyone else's roster is full of 1st round picks on their line. Some yes, but not most.

They are going to release certain players. I read about one player in particular who has a huge contract but hasnt played up to it. Cant remember his name, maybe dusty knows.I think the guys counts $8 million or more towards their 2013 cap.

Anyway, the Chiefs plan to cut whatever fat they can to keep Albert and Bowe. Im also sure the Chief's have also equated trading for Alex Smith into their 2013 cap plans.

Who knows, the Smith trade could also equate to the Niners taking a player contract or two off of thier books. Never know until the terms are released.

dusty,

I found another page saying they have about $16mil avaiable. Granted they'll save about $5-6 if they cut Cassell but they're about to add $8.5 with Smith. It's going to be very tight for them!

Our needs T, WR, G, CB, S-pretty much in that order I believe.

T- Joeckel, Fisher and Lane Johnson could all become elite. If one is there at 12 and we can't get Long at our price, I think we get him.

WR- Patterson, Allen- look like the only two that can be considered at 12. However there will be a run on WR in the late 1st through the 3rd rd.

G-Warmack, Cooper- I think they are reaches at 12 and Warmack looks better suited for a man blocking scheme. I could see us trading back our first or moving back up with our later picks to get him.

CB- Milliner is top ten. If he falls to 12, we need to grab him. There is a deep 2nd tier group of corners that we could grab from in the 2nd-4th rds.

S- Excellent safety class. Nothing would surprise me with what we do here. We could pick a guy early or not even draft one based on what I've seen from our past drafts.

jackson guy who is due a ton. he will be cut unless he takes huge pay cut

JSLA,

Our biggest problem is having to depend on Garner playing Tackle for an entire season should we not resign Long.

In the season finale, it dint matter who the Pats had rush from the right side, Garner looked as bad, if not worse, than Columbo.

As a gm, would dare not try gambling bringin in a olineman 3rd rd or further, when knowing Columbo is the best I have on the other side. We may need to spend a 2nd rd pick on qb to, if going that route.

YG and dusty,

I'll argue with you again on Albert. I don't believe they'll franchise him. Why would you, when you have his replacement staring you in the face with the first pick. dusty, I know you mentioned they'll try and trade down. This isn't last year. There are no clear cut 'franchise' players, including Geno Smith. I believe they'll stay at one and draft his replacement. Possibly they'll franchise Bowe, which will really piss him off.

Great year for safeties and TE's. This is the year to get both, IMO. Screw Chris Clemmons....hit the road!

Woodshed,

You left out DJ Fluker(Bama). Espn reportes he flying up draft boards right now.

I had a mock lising tking him with our second 2nd round pick. That's before the reports of him flying up draft boards. He could be at least bottom 1st rd right now.

Yeah, I'm not impressed with any QB and LBers look weak as a group also.

Posted by: Craig M | February 25, 2013 at 05:06 PM

CraigM, dont argue with us, argue with KC's fo. They are the one's leking these reports.

Furthermore, I careless les what any other team does, when it dowsnt primarily effect us in any drastic way.

We're only the messengers Craig, These arent our opinions.

The media is a trip. At first it was the Dolphins will spend major dollars on a wide reciever. Now its well maybe Jennings will be resigned and Wallace has lots of other options blah blah blah. There is no reason for the Dolphins to stray from their plan.

I like all the WR options in the draft but I still think we need a veteran.

YG,
don't tempt me.
Barkley is still #1 on my wish list if Tannehill wasn't there.
And even then I'm hedging.

But.. I probably wouldn't do it. Damned reality.

And sure, I get it. Top LTs don't grow on tress. As don't top DEs, and WRs, and OLBs, and CBs.... I don't see how we can be dismissive of other postions on the field that are even harder to find in FA.
Top FAs rarely get moved. Top "Names" yes (guys who've worn out their welcomes, or are past their prime, or demand way too much money for their worth).
So at some point we're going to pay way too much for a FA that we need to upgrade. And he'll have baggage or serious questions coming in.
Why the heck are linemen the exception? We're not going to fill ALL our needs drafting, so why would a atckle be excempt?
We could pay too much for Long, or let him go, draft a tackle first round, and pay too much for a receiver. or DE ... etc.

Why the obsession with HAVING to draft our line?


We will NEVER EVER get a Calvin Johnson, or JJ Watt via FA, but we can draft one - maybe.
I prefer those odds, personally.

YG4E, yeah I forgot about Fluker. He looks good but I think he is more of a Man Scheme guy in the Pros. That kid Terron Armstead is worth a look in later rounds. He has excellent measurables but he plays really high and doesn't have any film on him against good teams.

I would also take a stab at Rodney Smith if he is there past rd 4. He is 6'4" 225 lbs with huge hands. He ran 4.5 in the 40 but never really took off at FSU. Still, there are always those guys that people question how they fell down boards so far with their skillsets. This could be that guy when we look back in ten years IMO.

Wow, just found out on espn, that not only does Alec Ogletree has the DUI a few weeks back. He was also suspended 4 games for testing positive for drugs in 2011.

Great talent, but this guys sounds nfl substace abuse suspension waiting to happen.

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