I'm starting to think it might be Greg Jennings. Granted, I think it's pretty likely that Seattle will focus on the draft to add WRs this year, but I do see some reasons why Jennings could hold appeal specifically for the Seahawks:He could be affordable, and may not require a massive long term commitment.
That might sound a little crazy, since not long ago Greg Jennings was considered one of the five or ten best WRs in the game. BUT, this is a highly competitive free agent WR class, Jennings is 30 years old in September, he's coming off an injury and a relatively poor statistical season, and his own team isn't even trying to keep him. Jennings had an MCL sprain the year before that as well. There will also be those who wonder how Jennings will produce when he's not having one of the greatest QBs in the league throwing to him.
Affordable is a relative term, but with Mike Wallace seeking $10 million annually (and probably getting it), Jennings' circumstances could see him go in the $6 or $7 million a year range. I'm thinking 5/35 could probably get it done for Jennings, especially if the alternatives were crappy teams that have nowhere near the chance we have of making a Superbowl (this will very likely be Jennings last big contract). And if Jennings does have a vibrant market despite his issues the last two years, Seattle can just walk away. But in such a good market and draft for the position, I feel that's probably not going to happen.
Sure, you worry about the age and injury history, but that's the only reason Jennings is hitting the market at all, and the only reason he might be available for less than his talent is worth. Seattle gave out a similar contract for a similar injury risk in Sidney Rice, and I'd say that so far Rice is earning his money. While Seattle is generally averse to signing players nearing 30, their mantra to date has been about finding value and exploiting market inefficiencies. They did not originally plan on signing Flynn for instance, but that stance changed when Flynn's market was much softer than anticipated. If Jennings is wallowing out there while guys like Wallace, Bowe, or Welker demand the lion's share of attention, Seattle's interest could warm.The Green Bay connection.
Greg Jennings was drafted by the Packers in 2006. John Schneider was not only a member of the Packers front office at the time, he was Ted Thompson's right hand man. Schneider has shown interest in former Packers players from time to time, among them Breno Giacomini and Ruvell Martin. That doesn't mean that Jennings is a slam dunk or anything, but familiarity matters, and Schneider knows Jennings about as well as anyone outside the Packers front office.Jennings fixes our true problem at WR.
Early in the year, a lot of people, even Seahawks fans, blasted our WR corps for being "average", or worse. I disagreed with them. I'd probably put our current trio among the 10 or 15 best in the NFL top to bottom. It's a good, underrated group that helped accommodate Wilson during his late season ascension. But even I know this WR corps has one not so little problem (besides injury and lack of depth). That problem is that none of our WRs are all that good at getting open when plays break down and Wilson is improvising on the move. Seattle should add depth, and maybe a new starter at WR this offseason, but it's critical that they add at least one starter caliber player that knows how to get creative for his QB.
Jennings comes from a very similar passing offense with a very similar QB. Rodgers is one of the best, if not the best, QBs in the league at buying time and finding open WRs on the move- it's a huge part of their offense. So it's no stretch to say that Jennings is very familiar with the concept. And I'm not sure you'd find that guy in the draft- at least not in his rookie season. Maybe DeAndre Hopkins could pull it off right away, but I'd bet money Seattle goes defense in round 1 anyway.
While Jennings isn't quite the deep threat that Mike Wallace is, if he's healthy (and he looked healthy near the end of the season), he could be back to his old form- a WR that was great after the catch but also a threat deep, like a better version of Golden Tate. Jennings averaged around 16 yards per catch from 2008 to 2010 before injuries struck the next two years.The time is right.
Around this time last year, John Schneider had an interview
with Brock and Salk and talked about the draft and offseason in about as much detail as you could reasonably expect him to. There was one very interesting thing he said in that interview. He brought up former Packers great Reggie White, and talked about how "the time was right." Making a splurge on White made sense because the Packers felt they were close to a Superbowl.
Seattle has the money to make that big signing this free agency if they choose to. If they trade/release Flynn and make other money saving moves then the skids are greased further. Perhaps they feel that a player like Jennings (or Tony Gonzalez, who's gone from 95% to "50/50" on retirement already) could be that final spark they need to reach the promised land?
I'm not saying it's likely, but if the right things come together Greg Jennings could be a Seahawk next month, and we'd have all been slapping our foreheads the next day wondering why we didn't see it coming a mile away. If Jennings turns into a relative "buy low" opportunity, he could make a lot of sense for John Schneider and Pete Carroll.