|Greg Jennings would be "disappointed" if he was tagged by Green Bay. (US Presswire)|
Over the past few years, Greg Jennings quietly became one of the most dominant wideouts in the NFL. In the past four years, Jennings has averaged 73 receptions, 1,155 yards and eight touchdowns, despite averaging only 14 starts during that same time.
And after 2012, Jennings will, even more quietly, become a free agent. Suddenly, there's a lot of concern that Aaron Rodgers' top target won't be back in 2013, except the Packers can always franchise tag Jennings, which would leave the wideout "disappointed."
"I would be disappointed," Jennings told CBSSports.com while promoting his impressively awesome/weird Old Spice commercial. "It's not something I think any player would care to play under, simply because I think every player wants that long-term contract where they're kind of solidified. The franchise tag to me is a little scapegoat to hold onto a player where you're unsure about.
"If it has to come down to it, obviously I can't control that and that would have to take place. But I would do everything in my power to kind of allow that to not be the case."
Here's the thing: Jennings, based on his production, would command a monster deal, especially as a top-flight wideout in a passer's market. But Green Bay's done a pretty good job of handing out below-market deals to players (that's a compliment by the way, and see: Jordy Nelson) and might believe that their current crop of wide receivers can replace what Jennings does.
Which is why, to this point, it sure doesn't sound like the team and Jennings' reps are engaging in any contract chatter. And if they were, Jennings doesn't want to hear about it -- he's too busy chasing a third-straight Pro Bowl season.
"It's definitely something I don't want to be involved in," Jennings said. "My agent is taking care of it. He knows where we stand. The Packers know where we stand and I'm not going to allow it to take away from what we're doing on the football field. That's just the way I operate and the way I want it to be."
The reality of the NFL is that Jennings, if he and the Packers don't work out a long-term deal, probably will get the franchise tag. We've seen all kinds of different ways that the franchise tag can play out (Dwayne Bowe, Wes Welker and DeSean Jackson offer allternatives) but the Packers typically operate in a fairly intelligent fashion.
That's not to say that Jennings isn't worthy of a long-term deal, but if he wants big-time money, there's a chance that Green Bay could balk. And if they do, there's a very good chance that things could get awkward before the beginning of next season.
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