Last day for the franchise tag… Teams to look out for: Titans (Cook), Dolphins (possibly Starks), Packers (Jennings?), Chiefs (Bowe?), PatsThe current prediction is that Jennings won't receive it, which is what I've been expecting all along, until a report last week floated the possibility. The only reason that makes some sense is that they probably want to keep either Jennings or TE Jermichael Finley, and they can afford to keep at least one of them, so the cost of Jennings' franchise tag would be only a couple million more than Finley's huge 2013 salary number. Both players are available without a long-term commitment.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 4, 2013
Based on how GM Ted Thompson's worked in the past, it would seem obviously they'd keep Finley over Jennings, who would be turning 30 next season while Finley will be 26 years old. The Packers have been choosing the younger player over the veteran for the past several seasons.
Both players are probably at their best when they attack the middle of the field, which might make Finley a better player for that role due to his size. Mike McCarthy recently praised Finley's 2012 performance:
"I think it was clearly his best year, particularly on the two-yard drag routes and things like that. I was very pleased with the way Jermichael played there in the second half and he improved a number of different areas of his game."He played a major role in the passing offense as he was third on the team with 88 targets last season. I was disappointed in him last season because he isn't really a tight end (poor blocking) and he wasn't a big play threat. But I'd be very surprised if the Packers decided to part ways with both Jennings and Finley.
There's a strong case to make for keeping Jennings over Finley because he's been more productive (when healthy) and he won't cost much more. But knowing how GM Ted Thompson works, I expect he'll go with the younger player who could be just as good over the next four years.