GREEN BAY – On a day when his longtime wide receiver and friend Greg Jennings was confessing in various interviews that this could be his last season with the Green Bay Packers, quarterback Aaron Rodgers was hardly a shining ray of optimism about the chances of Jennings returning after this, the final year of his contract.
Speaking on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike show, Jennings reiterated some of the same things he said during an interview with ESPN Wisconsin in late July at the start of training camp.
“I definitely want to be here, but understanding the nature of the business, you never know,” Jennings told Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic. “There is really nothing else I can really say or do. The ball is not in my court at all. I have to play the cards that I’m dealt. Right now it’s football. That’s my focus.”
Speaking on the season premiere of his weekly radio show on 540 ESPN and ESPNWisconsin.com, Rodgers sounded almost resigned to the fact that Jennings will price himself out of Green Bay after the season because of the other star players also needing new deals. The Packers could still sign Jennings to a contract extension or use the franchise tag on him next spring, but Rodgers did not sound optimistic.
“I think you have to be realistic about it and think that it might be (our last year together),” Rodgers said. “I have loved my time with Greg, Greg and I are going to be buddies whether he’s here or not.
“Greg is one of those unique talents who’s both extremely gifted physically but also mentally he really understands the game and understands route leverages and coverages and where the soft spots in zones are and what my timing is for when he’s got to get his head around. Just timing with the quarterback consistently is something that takes somebody who really cares about his craft and wants to put the time in.
“It’s been great having him; we’ve had a lot of great memories, from big touchdowns like against the (Chicago) Bears in the opener (in 2009), to the catch he made in the playoffs against Arizona when we were coming back (in January 2010), on that back shoulder fade I threw way too hard, to some of the pretty deep balls we put together – just a lot of fun memories.
“Obviously the big throws and catches in the Super Bowl, a couple of my biggest throws and best throws of my life, and he was on the other end of them. It’s been great throwing to him, but there’s a lot of guys who may or may not get paid the next few years, and obviously with Jordy (Nelson) and his contract situation, I think you have to think about whether or not there’s room for all of us. If there’s not, obviously you wish Greg the best. He’s a great guy and will be a great friend.”
Nelson is in the second year of what clearly is a below-market value deal he signed before his breakout season last year. Also needing contract extensions are outside linebacker Clay Matthews, defensive lineman B.J. Raji and, of course, Rodgers, the reigning NFL MVP.
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