The Green Bay Packers want to bring back linebacker Jamari Lattimore, but just as last year with Robert Francois, they apparently don’t want to pay him the restricted free-agent tender to do it.
Lattimore’s agent, Tony Agnone, met with the Packers at the NFL scouting combine last week and said Wednesday that the chances of them offering his client the $1.389 million right-of-first-refusal tender appear to be “slim and none.”
However, the Packers reportedly want to re-sign Lattimore for less, or at least closer to the $645,000 minimum for a player with three accrued seasons. Lattimore has been one of the Packers' best special teams players the past two seasons, and last year he also played 265 snaps (25.2 percent of the team's defensive total) at inside linebacker.
Last year, another client of Agnone’s agency, Robert Francois, was a restricted free agent the Packers didn’t tender. He signed less than a week into free agency for the $630,000 minimum salary plus a $50,000 bonus.
“I’d think at that point, we’ll look at all different directions,” Agnone said of the possibility that Lattimore would test the free-agent market. “I would assume his first love of course is the Packers, so we’ll see what happens on that front. We’ll have to see what there is to do, what there’s going to be.”
The free-agency signing period begins March 11, but the three-day early-negotiating period begins March 8. The other restricted free-agent tenders are $2.124 million for the second-round tender and $3.021 million for the first-round tender.
The Packers have one other restricted free agent, safety M.D. Jennings. His agent, Chris Martin, couldn’t be reached for comment, but with the team’s plans to play cornerback Micah Hyde at safety and to likely draft at that position, there’s at least a chance the Packers won’t try to re-sign Jennings even at the $630,000 minimum.