Beginning today and for the next two weeks, all NFL teams can extend franchise tags to one unrestricted free agent.
The only player the Green Bay Packers would consider tagging among their five unrestricted free agents is receiver Greg Jennings. It would cost the Packers in the neighborhood of $10 million to tag Jennings and keep him under contract through the 2013 season.
Coincidentally, thatís roughly the amount of money the Packers saved on their salary cap by releasing Charles Woodson on Friday.
But donít expect the Packers to make a move on Jennings. Indications are the Packers will spend their money in other places, namely to extend the contracts of one or more of the following players: Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji.
It appears the Packers havenít made any recent attempts to offer Jennings a new contract. He will turn 30 in September, and the common belief is the Packers donít want to invest that much money in a player who has been injury prone the last couple years.
Some might argue that Jennings is past his prime, although that is open to debate. Many receivers, such as the recently retired Donald Driver, hit their prime in their early 30s.
The obvious benefit to keeping Jennings is that it would give Rodgers one more weapon at his disposal. The theory goes that the more weapons the Packers have on offense, the more explosive they will be.
Without Jennings, the Packers would have to rely on Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and James Jones as their three primary wide receiver targets. They can hope Jarrett Boykin emerges as a credible No. 4, or attempt to draft a receiver in April.
The argument for letting Jennings walk goes like this: A team can only pay so many players top dollar, and the Packers simply must set their priorities. Getting new deals for Rodgers, Matthews and Raji likely rank higher than keeping Jennings in the fold.
The Packersí other unrestricted free agents would not be in line for a franchise tag because they simply arenít that valuable.
Packers' unrestricted free agents
WR Greg Jennings
RB Cedric Benson
RB Ryan Grant
LB Brad Jones
LB Erik Walden
Itís all but assured Grant wonít be back Ė he was picked up last season out of desperation when injuries overwhelmed the Packersí running back corps.
If the Packers bring back Benson it will more than likely be on a one-year minimum salary contract similar to what he signed last year.
The Packers might be willing to retain Jones and Walden, if the players agree to reasonable terms.