GREEN BAY, WI (WSAU) Don’t be surprised if the Green Bay Packers do not use their franchise tag to keep a free agent around for at least one more year. Yesterday was the first day that teams could use their tags, and the Packers have five unrestricted free agents – receiver Greg Jennings, running backs Cedric Benson and Ryan Grant, and linebackers Erik Walden and Brad Jones.
There’s been at least some speculation about whether the Packers could keep Jennings – but if they use the franchise tag on him, it would cost around 10-million dollars for a one-year deal. And the 29-year-old Jennings has missed some major time with injuries over the past two seasons.
Meanwhile, the Packers also have five restricted free agents, and they have until March 12th to give them tender offers. The Green Bay Press-Gazette figures that center Evan Dietrich-Smith and corner Sam Shields will get second-round tenders, with mandatory one-year offers of just over two-million-dollars each.
If the Packers don’t match other teams’ offers, and they lose those players, it means they’d get an extra second-round pick for each loss. Other restricted free agents are tight end Tom Crabtree and linebackers Frank Zombo and Robert Francois.