Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel lays out a case for the Packers trading the injured Greg Jennings this year, before he becomes a free agent this offseason. Jennings is doubtful for tonight’s game with a groin injury. He missed games at the end of last year with a sprained MCL.
We know that trades of players are infrequent, and even moreso when it involves a contending team. Still, McGinn presents the case:
- based on Jennings being a free agent at the end of the year, and unlikely to sign;
- based on his age and injury history;
- based on the depth at the wide receiver position and needing to use money elsewhere.
Let’s just say it would be close to unprecedented for the Packers to trade a key player at a position when they were one of the favored teams to reach the postseason. We did see the Patriots trade Richard Seymour to Oakland and get future picks before a season.
The counterarguments to such a move are that a) it does weaken the team, even if you think they are loaded at receiver, and b) you could always franchise him for a year. Was it a coincidence that the Packers struggles coincided with Jennings getting hurt? Perhaps, but they lost the first game without him last year, and then lost in the playoffs when he rushed back while not 100%.
Randall Cobb is not a rookie anymore, though, and may be ready to breakout tonight with Jennings.
I’m not philosophically opposed to a hypothetical that involves trading Jennings. There is no way they are getting a first rounder, though. No one bit on Mike Wallace for a first rounder. While I would take Jennings when healthy for this year, either is going to want a long term one. I would think the total compensation for Wallace would exceed injury considering age and recent injury history. If someone offers a second, is that worth it? Arguable. A third? No way. Play it out.
I looked at other wide receivers who had at least 900 receiving yards every year from age 25 to 28. There’s obviously a range in that list, but I used each baseline by going with the average from ages 25-28 in receiving yards, and then found the percentage of yards compared to that previous baseline they managed at ages 29 to 32.
At age 29, the group averaged 93% of their previous baseline of receiving yards.
At age 30, the group averaged 63% of their previous baseline of receiving yards.
At age 31, the group averaged 60% of their previous baseline of receiving yards.
At age 32, the group averaged 57% of their previous baseline of receiving yards.
We can see the biggest drop was from age 29 to 30, and then it was gradual. The Packers are probably particularly leery. Sterling Sharpe and Antonio Freeman are both on the list, and for different reasons, did not continue past age 30.
Me, I would probably not trade him, because he’s still likely to be good when he plays this year. I would franchise him if he was still playing well, see if he declines at age 30 or not. I would not sign a long term deal. But if someone is willing to pay a good amount, I suppose I would listen.
[photo via US Presswire]