What seemed likely to happen earlier today has happened tonight.
Greg Jennings signed a contract extension.
YES! YES! YES!!
The extension will keep Jennings in green and gold through the 2012 season. He was scheduled to make just $535,000 this season, the last of his rookie contract. The same ESPN article says the deal is front-loaded meaning Jennings will likely see a significant boost in pay this year.
Not a surprise on that last point. Ted Thompson likes to front-load contracts so as not to hurt the team in future years in the event a player gets hurt and/or fails to live up to his big contract.
My guess is that a large chunk of that guaranteed money – $10 million or so – will be tacked on to Jennings’ salary this year. I say this because the team still has $27 million of cap space. That number likely drops to $22 million or so once all the rookies are signed, so they can afford to have Jennings eat up a large amount of space.
That would still leave them with roughly $12 million to play with, more than enough to give any number of upcoming free agents (Nick Collins, Daryn Colledge, Aaron Kampman, Ryan Pickett, etc.) new deals which they could still count against this year’s cap. Plus, by front-loading it like that, they would only owe Jennings $17 million or so for 2010-2012. Again, since the exact terms of the deal have not been released, I’m just guessing. But I have a feeling this is the case.
Either way, this a big win for everyone involved. The Packers lock up a top five receiver for the next four years and rid themselves of any possible distractions had a deal not been reached. Jennings sees a major, major raise in pay and respect – he was already in the Larry Fitzgerald/Andre Johnson talent range; he’s now in their pay range, as well – and will get to hit free agency again at 29, meaning he could see one more big contract before his career ends.
For us, as fans, we get to bask in countless Aaron Rodgers-Greg Jennings scoring strikes for at least four more years.
Nice work, Teddy. Now if you could just sign Collins to an extension, we’ll be set…