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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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js bad kept secret that zona is taking barkley at 7, so doesnt matter

YG,

I don't believe it's the first time he tested positive for drug use. Think it happened at least one other time. Still a really good player.

Almost forget about the story last week that Jennings wanted $14million a year in FA.

Add it all up and I smell conspiracy....

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

dusty bottoms | February 25, 2013 at 04:17 PM

That statement is usually made when there is no clear cut FRANCHISE guys in the top 10 but it doesn't mean the entire lot is the worst ever. Best example was in 05 when it was referred to as the worst ever with the top guys being Alex Smith, Ronnie Brown, Braylon, Cadillac and Benson but take a closer look at the entirety of that draft with Demarcus Ware, Derrick Johnson, Jammal Brown, Merriman, Antrelle Rolle, Logan Mankins, David Baas, Barrett Ruudd, Nick Collins, Heath Miller, Frank Gore ect.... and you get a clearer picture. The trick here is hoping Ireland listens more to his Coaches and what they see with a group of guys more suited than the Sparano regime at weeding out the talent here.

just whatever it is, please no jennings. my top 2 are wallace and amendola but looks like rams may franchise amendola

dusty,

I think they are on record as saying they won't franchise amendola. That could change between now and next week.

dusty,
that's the current rumor.
Also, it's well known that teams play with each other's minds by selling a player's worth for smoke screens on another. Barkley wasn't on their rumor mill until combine weekend where all of a sudden he's their top man.

And since he didn't throw, I'm curious what he DID do that got him such a boost.

I love Barkley, but that sounds fishy to me.

fin4life, yup i agree 2005 was one of worst ever if those are the best names u can find in it

barkley will throw at pro day. zona has to take a qb, has to. they will take either barkley or smith. ill go with barkley

Posted by: dusty bottoms | February 25, 2013 at 05:18 PM

Dusty,

If I were the Cards, I would be afraid to death of taking Barkley #7(USC) after taking Matt Linnert(USC) 1st overall just a little back.

Their only recourse in doing this, is if Barkley doesnt pan out, he is far less expensive. Linert was under the old cba.

Still, the greatest problem the Cards may have is their oline, not qb. Kolb went down for the year in game 6. The Cards oline gave up 58 sacks last year.

We think that we ave a problem with our online giving up only 38 sacks in comparison.

linehart didnt go 1 overall, he went 10th

I get it that everyone wants Wallace in Miami. I just worry that it will be a lot like bringing another diva wide receiver was (hint: he's doing great in Chicago). And, we would probably be over-paying for him. Jennings is good, but not $14 million-a-year good. I think that Bowe would have done really well in Miami (Tannehill is as good if not better than the QB's he's had before. But, he's probably staying where he's at. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see Miami bring Hartline back. Maybe, Long too! It's Ireland's call and we all know how that goes.

I would much rather see Miami draft for Wide Receivers, but they say this class is weak at that position. Still, it would be cheaper, but take longer to develop them. There is some speed though in this draft class (look at their 40 times).

I'd live to see them use Free Agency to fill some of the other holes on the team; pass rusher, TE, CB, O-line, etc. I think there's better value there than with WR's. Just my opinion.

Can't wait to see exactly what Ireland really does this off-season. It just could be his last one with Miami.

Posted by: DarrylDunphy | February 25, 2013 at 01:26 PM

DD,

I like Franklin also, but would take Stepfan Taylor first. Smart player, solid blocker and very productive in college. Played in same conference and had a more productive career.

Posted by: dusty bottoms | February 25, 2013 at 05:34 PM

dusty, youre right, he went 10th. I guess with the hoopla surrounding him coming out. I just felt like 1st overall to me. LOL...

no worries, dusty, you're probably right.
Glennon probably climbs in the combine though, and Wilson has been in the same prospect position since the day he started, so he's well known and liked.

So Does Zona take another USC QB (Leinart may have them gunshy) or do they try Glennon or Wilson?

Anyway, not gonna happen. Even Ireland won't take another QB.

Everybody says (including Irlenad) that you take the BPA no matter what.
So, what if the BPA is a center or QB, or fullback? Seems like there's holes in this argument.

I still pick the guy you like best at a position you need, unless he's just not high enough on your board to consider at that spot. Then BPA seems OK.

My last argument gets muddy when you have a stud drop down to your spot, but that's not that frequent

Posted by: Arturo | February 25, 2013 at 05:36 PM

Stephan Taylor, very productive, but a 4.8 forty will probably make him slide to like 6th rd. I dont think that he was more than a 3rd-4th rd'er before the 4.8 forty.

Still, based on his college production and what you see while watching Stanford games, the kid seems like a real football player.

Apparently, Philbin is not a fan of Bush either. He sat him down x2 last year, probably had told him to run in a straight line and not fumble.

so glad the bush saga is over now, glad hes gone. now we can move on to more pressing issues that arent resolved.

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.

DarrylDunphy | February 25, 2013 at 04:32 PM

I thought John Harbaugh whose looking to replace Lewis made an interesting observation about Te'o. He said he was looking for his speed to increase after about 20 yards in the 40 which is when most players are at there fastest and Te'o never hit that gear doesn't seem to have it which is worrisome when considering he will be chasing plays from behind in the NFL and wont have the necessary last gear to get there. I was a big fan of this kid and think he can be a player regardless but can also see him like Mauluga from USC a couple of Yrs. back dropping into RD-2 at this point given he really didn't do anything to stand out athletically at the combine.

Philbin beginning to look like a strict disciplinarian, Shula type but with some humor, even if dry.

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.

Craig M | February 25, 2013 at 04:25 PM

BALLHAWK! I like him and Eric Reid and would take one of the 2 in RD-2.

YG,

This is why I hate about the combine: guys like Taylor get dropped on a slow 40, even though they have impressive college careers in solid conferences, but a guy from Auburn that no one has heard of runs a 4.3 and becomes the 4th or 5th back of the board.
I call it the JaMarcus Russell vs Tom Brady syndrome

oscar,

I believe sitting Bush had more to do with sending a very strong message that Philbin will not tolerate fumbling(turnovers) than not being a fan of Bush.

On the other hand, Philbin did not pull Tannehill after 3 pocks in one game, because it was more about not destroying the confidence of his young qb. That could have been more detrimental to Tannehill in the long run by pulling him.

Im sure it was an excrutiating judgement call in Tannehill's case for Philbin.

I still can't shake the feeling that there will be major Player changes specially along the OL.

Tracy 474,

I don't see why so many people are against bringing talented players to Miami.

If our GM and coaches think Jennings or Wallace will upgrade the team then I'm all in.

There are definatley some good looking prospects in the draft but thats exactly what they are..prospects.

While I'm fairly confident we'll hit on at least one WR it certainly would hurt to hedge our bets with a proven veteran. Especially if you consider our current depth chart at WR.

Posted by: Arturo | February 25, 2013 at 05:47 PM

Arturo,

Look at bright side. if still there in the 6th rd(we dont have a 5th), He could be a huge addition to our rb corp. Probably definitely beats out D-Thomas as the 2nd string rb.

Speaking of the combine: How did Montee Ball do? Another solid back with great production.

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone 4Ever! | February 25, 2013 at 05:53 PM

We can only hope. It would be nice to get good players in those rounds and not just a bunch of acorns

We will sign who we choose to sign , probably Mike Wallace wich is super cool to me ,we also will need a top cb since smith walks , someone that can actually catch the ball and create turnovers ,Starks will get the tag wich is cool and we need a tight end weather it's Fasano or a free agent if we can do all that we are ready for a draft

Posted by: Dolfan Rick | February 25, 2013 at 05:50 PM

I believe we definitely try to pursue the top 3 fa wr's unless franchised. Still, I believe we draft at least 1 wr within our first 3 picks.

If not able to sign any of the top 3 fa wr's, I believe we draft at least 2 wr's within the first 5 picks. I also believe they resign Hartline if unable to get oe of the top 3 wr fa's.

smith wont walk, looks like they will franchise him

Guys we have 6 picks in the top 130 those are not acorns , acorns are late round guys and undrafted guys , we have a lot of good picks and maybe even more if we trade back to 20

Besides DEs, this is a very good Draft for solid, pro-Bowl type Safeties. Besides Vaccaro and Elam, there is another promising guy there that I forgot his name now. Great Ss are not a dime a dozen. We'll see tomorrow.

why 20

If we sign Wallace I believe hartline get resigned

I think we will target a cb or a de in the first round 12 is to high somewhere in the 20s sounds right

Posted by: Arturo | February 25, 2013 at 05:55 PM

The greatest hurdle Monte Ball has to overcome is that Wisconsins rb's suck coming into the nfl. Beginning with Ron Dayne.

Just seems Wisc rb's are great in college then disappear in the nfl. Wisc also seems to be oline U when it comes to "run blocking" olinemen. But because Wisc runs so often, those olinemen arent usually great nfl pass protectors either.

Bacardi Rambo from uga Oscar he would be great with reshard

Dusty if we can pull that off we will have like 7 picks in the first 3 rounds plus get the player we want

This can be a legendary off season in our history , lets just hope and pray

Uff, nj. His last name is Italian, also.

If we reach at 20 something who cares , do you see the logic and we still have a boat load of picks

How do you know my last name is Italian Oscar do you know who I am

Oh Oscar it's that vecharro kid out of texas

Yes. Anyone of them, nj, anyone of them.

fin4life, yup i agree 2005 was one of worst ever if those are the best names u can find in it

dusty bottoms | February 25, 2013 at 05:27 PM

For whatever reason those were names I remembered from that class given I later went back after Saban left to see who he passed on. By the way Aaron Rodgers and Vincent Jackson were in that class as well. I mention it because coming from College it was a real eye opener what a bad judge of talent Saban was at picking for the NFL.

I remember after I looked back thinking we could have taken Rodgers instead of Brown RD-1 then Vincent Jackson RD-2 which would have made a HUGE difference paired with Welker and Chambers while taking Gore RD-3 and that's without mentioning Brandon Jacobs who transferred out of Auburn because of Cadillac and went RD-5 to N.Y. that Yr. as well. You take into account the D Saban put together and these O players would have had us in contention in 07 with him probably still Coach instead of 1-15. He was just plain stubborn and didn't want anybody shopping for the groceries except him.

My point is this isn't a Class heavy at QB or WR (FRANCHISE types) but it has players that can be cogs on a solid nucleus in a rookie capped era. By the way I would be shocked if the Cardinals take Barkley given Arians knows what kind of arm it takes in the NFL and believe they take C.Mich. OT E.Fisher. I have a feeling Geno Smith will still be available by their pick anyway.

Posted by: Marc from nj | February 25, 2013 at 06:10 PM

If youre from NJ there's a very strong possibility that you could be Italian. LOL....

But, for the life of me, I can't see an O Gamechanger in this Bunch(must be hidden somewhere).

pats made bradys deal today through 2017, freeing up 8 mill in cap space. sucks for us. brady only makes 8 mill a year in last 4 years. unreal

Do some of you realize that you've been posting upwards of five or six hours straight?

Godalmighty, take a walk. Get some fresh air. Take a freaking dump. ANYTHING.

Mutants.

This will be a fun draft to watch. Lots of good prospects and gaps to fill. Free agency will dictate a lot, but still seems that we can go any number of directions....

Sukks not to be standing on any solid ground.

Oscar I love Robert woods, Teton Austin,Terrance Williams, steadman bailey ,and staffon Taylor just to name a few , this draft is full of game changers

fun draft to watch cause nobody has a clue who goes where, basically shows how mediocre this draft is

they love u to marc

Posted by: dusty bottoms | February 25, 2013 at 06:14 PM

And Rodgers making 9mill? Crazy....And we want to give the same to Wallace or Jennings? Those front offices are just amazing

Posted by: Carl Jung | February 25, 2013 at 06:16 PM

I guess the smart phone never occured to you huh.

pats could have 2 and a half bradys for what they are paying manning.

Those are not Gamechangers, pal. They MIGHT be very good Players, some of them. btw, perhaps not the details, but I know your Self.

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