Friday, June 26, 2009

Premium for being well behaved?

Greg Jennings just signed a contract extension that apparently could pay him $31MM for four years, which puts him around the $8MM a year mark. Here are Greg Jennings' stats in case you're interested...

Jennings, in '08, broke out in a big way. But, while he's now being paid like one of the elite receivers (not on the Larry Fitzgerald level, but he's not there of course), I'm not yet convinced he belongs in that category...
t-#16 for # receptions
#6 in rec yards
#8 in rec TDs
This, while Rodgers was #4 for yards and TDs thrown, with over 4,000 yards and 28 TDs.

So the question is, does Jennings have much up-side from the ~1,300 yards and 9 TDs he had this season? It's possible there's some, but when I watched him last year, I'm not certain he has much more up-side. He's a very good receiver, but he never struck me as an elite receiver. I think it's more likely he'll level off around 1,100 yards and 7-8 TDs per year. Very good of course, but worth $8MM a year?

Maybe it is, but I personally wouldn't want to pay that much for such a receiver. But then you have to look at some of the guys considered to be some of the best receivers in the game...better than (or maybe just "at least as good as") Jennings.....

Steve Smith - Punches his teammates in the face.
Brandon Marshall - Rap sheet longer than his 47 yard TD reception last year.
Terrell Owens - His QBs are his red headed step-children.
Anquan Boldin - He's not creating too many problems but his complaints are getting louder.
Randy Moss - He's been pretty normal in New England, but he's a destructive force.

Meanwhile, all Jennings does is shut up and play great football. At a position filled with divas, Jennings is decidedly the opposite, which makes me wonder if the Packers are paying a bit of a premium for a WR who might not be as good as the above guys, but they feel comfortable will never cause problems.

It also makes me wonder - regardless of whether that's the case or not - if it's smart to pay a big of a premium for such a player. It seems to me that the problem guys are still getting at or above market deals. So maybe the answer is to pay a premium for the good characters? Seems counter-intuitive to me, but is that a valuable use of extra funds?

I'm not certain of the answer, but seems like an interesting question.


  1. 25yo receivers with 80 catches and ~1300 yards are exactly the kind of players who you want to pay money for. I'd a lot rather have the next 4 years of him than TO.

  2. Of course, but TO's in his late 30s. The question is, would you rather have the next four years of him, or Brandon Marshall?

    Marshall's a bit more of a sure thing on the field (since he's done it twice). But off the field he carries a ton more baggage...

  3. Ok, now I understand your question.

    I think Marshall is probably the more impressive player, and Jenning is clearly the better risk, in the sense that he's less likely to be suspended for a year by the commish.

    I'd take either of them on the Ravens roster of course, salary cap and character risk questions aside.


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