On Jennings, SJax and EDSPosted:Mar 13th, 2013 3:15 pm
There's a danger in posting a blog on the first full day of free agency: it can have the same shelf life as a bowl of Chili John's. That said, let's take a look at some of the steam coming out of Titletown.
As usual, Ted Thompson let the big dollars fly while sitting on the sidelines. He did reach out to Steven Jackson's agent, but basically to say, 'Get back to me when you realize no one wants to overpay a 30 year old back with 50,000 carries behind him.'
It sounds like the Falcons and Packers have the most interest in the tough, hard-nosed back who I believe still has a couple of years left in the tank. Atlanta, though, will now have to devote more money at tight end than they expected since Tony Gonzalez Favred them and announced he wants to play another year.
With high priced talent at WR and tight end, and QB Matt Ryan due a Flacco-ish new contract, it's hard to believe they can afford to pay Jackson anything close to what he wants. Not to mention the fact that they gutted their defense and need to find re-enforcements.
Thompson is gambling he can get Jackson at his price. I'm cool with that. I'd like to finally see #39 in green and gold, but it has to make sense financially.
The interesting dynamic in play is the future of Greg Jennings who would probably turn back the clock a few months if he could, and accept the Pack's reported $10 million per year offer. It appears he will not get the $12-15 million a year he wants: even Percy Harvin's new deal doesn't approach that amount.
If he returns to the Pack, Jermichael Finley will be out and Green Bay will take a look at what's left of the tight end free agency market, or address that position early in the draft.
One more note on running backs: former Madden cover boy Peyton Hillis has scheduled a visit. Some might see this as a chess move in the Steven Jackson talks. It could also be a sign that John Kuhn's days are done. Hillis would be a Kuhn replacement, perhaps a little cheaper, with maybe a little more upside.
I was a bit surprised they put the lowest tender on Evan Dietrich-Smith. Clearly they must see him as a serviceable starter at center, but not the preferred long term answer. If another teams snaps him up, the team will suddenly have a glaring need at the position.
If things stay quiet after this first wave, look for Thompson to address the defense and pounce on a lower-priced defensive lineman and maybe a safety. For now, the offensive side is where things will come into focus as we see what happens with Jackson, Jennings and maybe Finley.