Packers Look To Add Veteran Receiver

Wes Welker

The Green Bay Packers have long enjoyed a stable of able wide receivers for as long as many of us can remember.  Sterling Sharpe, Robert Brooks, Antonio Freeman, Donald Driver, Javon Walker, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, to name many of the top pass catchers over the past two decades (and I’m sorry if your favorite unsung hero was Robert Ferguson and I left him off the list).

It seems that the Packers have been blessed with above-average talent at the receiver position, much like they have been at quarterback.  With that rich history, it would stand to reason that Packers fans and the team itself should be encouraged about what they might have in their young receivers, Davante Adams, Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Janis.  Maybe you are, maybe you’re not.  Either way, read on.

While we anguish over whether the Packers can find that stud linebacker on the inside or how they’re going to replace cornerbacks Tramon Williams and Davon House, the Packers are rumored to be looking to sign a veteran. . . wide receiver?

Rumors can come from anyone, anywhere.  With the advent of Twitter, many a rumor has been started and fake account created to start a brush fire of controversy over an idea that may or may not be true.  In this case, the source of the thought that the Packers could be looking to add a seasoned pass catcher was Insider Ian Rapoport.  He’s not ESPN’s Adam Schefter, but not too shabby.  Taken in context, all Rapoport is merely speculating that the Packers could be a team in the market for a free agent receiver.

Given Packers general manager Ted Thompson’s history with free agents, it makes sense that this almost doesn’t make a ton of sense, doesn’t it?  Last season when Green Bay was a mere few minutes from a Super Bowl appearance against a team they had already beaten earlier in the season, the Packers didn’t have many glaring holes on their roster but if we had to pick one, it would have likely been on the defensive side of the ball.  The team had to move Clay Matthews inside to cover for the lack of play-making ability in A.J. Hawk, Brad Jones and Sam Barrington so clearly there was, and still is, a need there.  And now corner has emerged as a bigger need area.  Granted, there aren’t many solid veteran free agents out there at either of those positions so it’s not as if Ted is ignoring some viable options.  But. . receiver?

One of the names mentioned by Rapoport was Wes Welker.  Welker is a free agent who would be entering his 11th season in the league in 2015.  He has 890 catches, over 9,800 receiving yards and 50 touchdown catches in his career.  He has spent the majority of that time with elite quarterbacks in New England’s Tom Brady and Denver’s Peyton Manning.  He’s seen plenty of playoff games and has been on successful teams most of his tenure.  He did have the blemish of missing some games at the beginning of 2014 due to a positive test for Adderall, but overall, Welker has been a dependable guy.  He’s appeared in no fewer than 11 games over the past eight seasons.  The question about Welker as far as the Packers are concerned is how they would use him.  They have a pure slot and dynamic piece in Cobb.  Abbrederis would appear to fit the same type of need.  Adams can get outside opposite Nelson and Janis is still a big question mark.  I’m not certain if this rumor makes it any further than this quick speculation, but adding a receiver like Welker with Aaron Rodgers and the existing offense wouldn’t make it any worse.  Welker surely will want to play for a contender and a good quarterback and he’s going to be hard pressed to find one better than Rodgers, assuming that Denver is not interested in bringing him back.

Another name that could come into play and has generated no shortage of discussion over the past few days is Jennings.  He was released by the Minnesota Vikings earlier this week after just two seasons of a five-year deal.  Jennings’ departure from the Packers in early 2013 wasn’t without its fanfare and drama.  After making it clear late in the 2012 season that he was going to do what was best for himself and his family and after shunning an offer from the Packers that would have averaged around $11 million per season, Jennings found himself having to look outside of Green Bay for a team willing to show him the money.  That was the Vikings, led by Leslie Frazier and quarterbacked by Christian Ponder. . and Matt Cassel. . and Josh Freeman. . and Teddy Bridgewater.  Four quarterbacks in two seasons.  The Packers have had two in 23 years.  So of course, now that he needs a job, Jennings has taken to the media to say that he’s willing to mend fences with the Packers over some of the comments that he made after he left the Packers.  Comments about the team, Green Bay and Rodgers.  And who can forget the famous tweets from Jennings’ sister?

While many have turned the page on Jennings in Green Bay and don’t ever want to see him anywhere near Lambeau Field let alone in a Packers uniform again, we have to ask ourselves if we’ve heard the last of this thought.  If the Packers aren’t yet sold on what they have in Abbrederis and Janis and with their not having offered Jarrett Boykin a chance to return, they need to add one either via free agency or the draft.  Thompson tends to prefer the draft and has used some late-round picks in recent years to add some receivers to the mix.  He found Charles Johnson in the last round of the 2013 draft and tried to stash him on the practice squad, which led to Johnson signing with the Cleveland Browns and then lading in Minnesota in 2014.  He appears to be headed towards a nice career and would have been a great addition to the Packers, had he not bolted at the first opportunity he had.  The point is, Ted isn’t too bad at finding receivers.  But if this year’s crop of mid-to-late around receivers doesn’t excite Ted, we may not have heard the last of a possible Jennings return to Green Bay.

While Thompson doesn’t like to involve players in any personnel decisions, this situation could be an exception.  Given the words that were exchanged between Rodgers and Jennings two years ago, I’d be surprised if the team didn’t approach Rodgers before even picking up the phone to reach out to Jennings.  Rodgers doesn’t tend to forget those who have questioned and wronged him in the past.  He’s also very much about the team and achieving as much success as he can.  And as I tweeted yesterday, while the Packers have other current options at receiver, the addition of Jennings would improve the offense.  Jennings or Welker, if the Packers add either one, knowing that it would be a move for immediate short-term gain, you could argue that it shows an “all in, win now” mentality by the team.

And let’s not forget about the money.  The Packers are currently well under the salary cap and can still make a play for an outside veteran or get a long-term deal done with one of their own whose contract is coming due soon.  But they aren’t going to overpay for anyone at this point in the free agency game.  That was done a week ago when the period began and the Packers, under Thompson, have never been players in the day one, splash signing frenzy.  Both Welker and Jennings should get offers that will exceed what the Packers are comfortable paying for their services.  And chances are, one or both will take the best offer that’s available to them.  Both are past their prime and this is likely their last chance to cash in.  If either are going to end up in green and gold, they’re likely going to have to choose the Packers more than the Packers would be choosing them.


Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on

Follow Jason Perone:



55 thoughts on “Packers Look To Add Veteran Receiver

  1. Welker has been slowing down, so I don’t see it worth trying to incorporate him for what little time he could give back. I could see Jennings before Welker. I wish for getting a veteran pass catching TE before getting Jennings. But I wish for getting a veteran ILB before a veteran TE.

  2. I would have to think that Abbrederis isn’t recuperating as would be hoped and the recent Janis accolades placed upon him via MM were nothing more than PC speak for Welker to even have been a thought and even more so to give consideration for a Jennings return….I would hold these thoughts to be self evident as ridiculous.

    Welker is one head shot away from season/career done and Jennings IMO would not only fail to earn the money given but is already a cancer to what is needed between QB and WR…no matter how much PC speak is leaked out to the otherwise.

    1. You beat me to this one…

      “Welker is a free agent who would be entering his 11th season in the league in 2015. He has 890 catches, over 9,800 receiving yards and 50 touchdown catches in his career.”

      …and how many concussions? I’m reminded of the OL character in “Not Another Teen Movie”.

  3. Unless there are issues with Janis and Abbrederis that we’re not aware of I would prefer that the Packers add an FA TE before signing either of these 2 veteran receivers. I wouldn’t mind having Welker but not at the expense of signing a player to meet our other needs right now. As for Jennings I would only re-sign him if it became absolutely necessary to add a WR due to injuries or some other unexpected problem that would keep our current WRs from being on the field. For numerous reasons I hope that this rumor remains just that, a rumor. Thanks, Since ’61

    1. There ARE issues with Janis and Abbrederris… namely, neither of them has even come close to proving he can be an NFL receiver. I’m not saying that TT is going to go out and get Welker or Jennings, I’m just saying that Ted has solid 1 & 2 WRs, a somewhat iffy 3, and absolutely nothing else that he can bank on. It would not be surprising at all to see him buy a little insurance.

      Ron Wolf said his greatest regret was not putting enough weapons around Brett Favre.

      Agree though that I would like to see a legit pass catching TE first.

  4. It was me. I was the guy who emailed Ian. Told him the Packers were looking for a receiver and the twit ran with it. It was a joke. Surely the Packers are not looking for a receiver. I can’t believe some of these news people so willing to believe anything just so they can be the first to report. It’s all bullshit. Sorry guys. By the way my next “rumor” I am putting out there is Justin Harrel is making a comeback…as the fat black Elvis.

    Welker as some pointed out is a concussion waiting to happen. He’s the past. Jennings is also the past but I would sign him if Rodgers has made up with him and the Packers could get the last laugh by insulting him with the lowest of low ball offers just because they can.

  5. Greg Jennings? Would he play for $2MM/yr? I think AROD would take him back but if he didn’t produce I could see him getting cut at end of pre-season or early in the season. I always liked Welker’s amazing quickness. Near impossible to cover. Has concussion issues. But he could help for a year. Real need on offense is TE. Real need on team is defense – any position.

    What if Landon Collins slipped to pick 30 (will never happen but what if)? If you were TT would you take him? I would in a NY second – bigger, faster, form tackler compared to HC Dix. BAP baby.

    1. Ideally, try to trade down and get better value on an ILB… but you’re right, Collins will be long gone before pick 30. He’s a better prospect than Dix or any of the S in last year’s class. There is a good chance he ends up in either CHI or MIN.

      1. I’m starting to think Kendricks from UCLA is the best ILB available in the draft and he would be worth the 30th pick. Others look like mid-2nd rounders to me.

        1. You’re probably right, which makes me wonder if someone might reach for him before #30 rolls around.

          1. I think there will be at least one guy at 30 that we will want. Once the 29th player goes off the board, it will probably be easy to guess. I’m thinking it is more likely to be defense. Probably front 7. So that would be great. Now if that one guy is there and TT goes for a no-name then ……..

  6. I state my entire case for resigning Greg Jennings here:

    I love Welker, but looking at his stats, he looks like he’s washed up. He only started 8 games last season, and he’ll be 35 by the start of next season. He also has concussion issues. Jennings imo makes a lot more sense.

    What I don’t understand is all this “we’re stable at wide receiver” nonsense. As if, if we were to get another standout receiver we wouldn’t be able to use them that much. Was nobody alive during the 2011 season? We had 5 receivers and a tight end that were all playmakers! We made really good use of them, of course we would make good use of someone like Greg Jennings!

    And I don’t wanna hear this “we use more running plays now” rhetoric either. they ran it 435 times last year, 459 the year prior, and 433 the year before that. It’s still overall the same amount of running attempts. There have been improvements in the run game for sure, but there was also a lot of games where Aaron and his receivers failed to connect. Had there been another stud receiver on the roster, they might have tried throwing to him and therefore won more games.

    1. Chad, do you really want to be the guy to slow down “white lightning” aka Jeff Janis? He has to get on the field this season and will just like Carl Bradford will. Teddy Tee as we all know and always tend to forget around this time prefers youth over old guys. Jennings is an old guy. Not sure how old his sister is but both could be too old for Ted to take back.

        1. I have no doubt Jennings could contribute to the team. The question is does TT want to impede guys like Aberderris and Janis for a guy who mouthed off and said bad things about the Packers organization and especially Aaron Rodgers. Now he wants to kiss and make up because he’s alone again? Not to mention his effin sister? I don’t know why but it’s his sister that bothers me more than Jennings. I can’t stand her and because of her I say no to Jennings. Do we really want to deal with that woman? I don’t. She’s up there with Scary Mary I tell you what!!

    2. Chad – Usually a fan of your work. But here? You’ve lost your bloody mind. I can’t imagine TT/MM/AR wanting a WR who can’t separate anymore and who never was a physical presence anyway (and who btw burned every bridge to the ground on his way out of town) to come back. Especially when the position he plays is one of the most solid on the roster.

      I’d rather see Adams, Janis and Abbrederis progress than to stunt their growth by giving Craig Crennings any of their snaps.

      1. My No. 1 concern is having the Packers do whatever the hell it takes to win the Super Bowl. And if I believe Greg Jennings is an essential piece to making that happen, then I will say so damnit. I’LL SAY IT LOUD AND SAY IT PROUD!

        Jennings will be a lot better if he plays in Green Bay, obviously he looked as terrible as he did in Minnesota due to the inconsistent quarterback play there. It’s not like the years he played really well in Green Bay were a fluke. He WILL make a difference.

        If he was playing with us last year we would have won, and I’ll stand by that statement no matter what. He plays, we get one more touchdown, AT LEAST, and we go to the Super Bowl. He plays, we make one more play in the game against Buffalo and win (first seed). He plays… you get the idea.

        We don’t know beyond a reasonable doubt whether Adams, Janis, or Abbrederis will work out, and I wouldn’t want to waste another early draft pick on another receiver.

        1. I agree that with Jennings we’d have won 1 or 2 more regular season games, and 1 more post season game (i.e. Seattle). GB in 2015 probably would be better with Jennings; depends on the development of Janis, Adams and Abby. To make your argument, you need to state that GB should pay Jennings for X yrs, X dollar amount and X $ guaranteed.

          1. I have no idea how much he’s worth, or for long. What I do know is that it’s not worth worrying considering the fact that Thompson rarely ever overpays a player (except Sam Shields imo), so I’m sure that if Jennings does sign with Green Bay, it won’t be some lucrative over the top deal that gives him like 10 mil a year, it will be within the affordable range I’m sure. A wild guess: no more than 5 mil a year.

            1. Yup, that’s the most (really more than) I’d expect TT to pay. Jennings turns 32 in Sept, so 2 yrs. $10 mill, with $3.5 guaranteed. My wild guess is that someone will pay him more than that given his 59 receptions on 92 targets (64%) for 742 yds (12.6 average) while playing for Minnesota.

            2. He overpaid Hawk, Jones, Burnett, Shields, was prepared to overpay Raji but Raji said no, Peppers is overpaid now. So I’m not buying TT never overpays. He has a tendency to overpay his own and underpay when competing for players in the free market or trade.

          2. Your last sentence is succinct; we can all say what we wish and suppose, but whaddya willin to pay is the question to be answered.

        2. I respect you thought process, but I do disagree with it. I think GJ’s days of being even a 1A were over post 2011. His speed was the thing allowing him to separate, and he doesn’t have that anymore. It’s certainly not his size.

          I’d rather have our top 3 WRs as they are, with the 2 developmental prospects and the cap space to spend on other positions of need.

          1. I’d disagree. It is GJ’s quickness that gets him open for brief periods. Need an ace QB to take advantage of that. I think GJ would help but I wouldn’t want to pay more than $5MM over 2 years with 50% guaranteed to find out. I doubt his ego would let him comeback for that kind of chump-change. But, if he wants another SB, who knows. Leave his sister in MN.

          2. I agree about speed Bearmeat and speed kills. Now picture this…
            We could have two of the fastest white guys in the NFL in Jordy and Janis. Jordy still to this day constantly gets disrespected speed wise because he’s “a white guy”. Now we have not one but two white guys constantly getting disrespected and also constantly blowing by the secondary for easy td’s. I say THAT is a huge advantage to have on your team. Jennings doesn’t have the size, speed or strength that Janis possesses. He does have the bigger mouth I’ll give him that.

  7. This makes little sense unless it’s a slow news day. But, if TT sees the need to sign a WR, then the following conditions probably exist. First, Abbrederis’ recovery from his ACL surgery isn’t going as planned. Second, Janis’ development isn’t going as planned. IMO, both these conditions exist if TT is seriously considering Welker or Jennings. Let’s assume both conditions do exist and TT decided to sign a free agent WR. Should he sign Welker or Jennings? If he signs Welker, it should be a one-year deal. Welker has the concussion history but is a very smart player. I saw him do some things with the Patriots demonstrating a high level of awareness especially when coming to clock management. If TT signs Jennings, he gets a healthier player and a two-year deal is likely. Jennings is very familiar with the offense whereas Welker isn’t. Jennings departed before GB had Lacy. Does that mean more opportunities for Jennings or fewer(same question for Welker)? There are greater areas of need, mostly on defense. I won’t be surprised by a free agent signing (CB or ILB) and don’t anticipate one for several weeks.

  8. Yes, the Packers have money to spend. If they’re going to spend it ANYWHERE, it should be on defense, not offense. Give Janis and Abbrederis a chance, don’t delay their development another year by signing some FA.

    Welker — no way. He turns 34 May 1. He’s had at least 3 documented concussions and probably more. He would not be a good fit as the article noted — he’s a slot receiver. You don’t pay Randall Cobb $10M per year to be moved out of the slot.

    Jennings — hell no. Jennings’ comments are coming from the same guy who referred to Rodgers as “12” and “the guy they have now.” The same guy who turned down $11M per year that the Packers offered him in 2012. The same guy who turned down the Packers’ $8M per year offer in 2013.

    The same guy who repeatedly criticized an organization that gave him 7 seasons of success, millions of dollars and with two Hall of Fame QBs. He wanted to be the man in Minnesota, and he got exactly what he wanted. Now he’s on the outside looking in and wants back? Does he think Aaron Rodgers forgot about his comments?

    The only FA WRs worth considering are Hakeem Nicks (age 27), Dwayne Bowe (age 30) and Michael Crabtree (age 27).

    1. I wouldn’t touch Nicks or Bowe. Nicks got old fast and can’t separate from DBs anymore. Bowe never could.

      Crabtree is the only one that has any potential left.

      Whatever the case, they shouldn’t mess with any of them unless Abbrederis is going to end up on IR and TT doesn’t want to draft a WR.

      1. Agreed. I’m not really high on any of them, they’re just the only ones worthy of the slightest consideration.

        Given the Packers’ penchant for drafting and developing WRs, plus a HOF QB throwing passes, it’s silly to spend $$ on a FA WR.

        It’s like being well known for growing prize-winning fruits and vegetables, then going out to the store to buy some. We already have them at home!!

      2. I agree re: Nicks/Bowe. They each had a short fleeting moment long ago. #12 to Crabtree would be interesting but I think Crabtree wants big bucks. With Jordy and Randall, we can’t pay more than about $5MM/yr tops for a quality veteran WR. That’s why I liked Andre Johnson, not too expensive, chance to retire with a SB and he could play WR/TE hybrid.

    2. Aaron would become immortal by taking the high road and welcoming GJennings back. In the end, it would just be classy, and I have no doubt Aaron would do such a thing. That’s the nice thing about forgiving/moving on….because so many mistakes can be buried so nicely.

      1. Agreed, although I don’t see it happening. Rodgers carries a chip on his shoulder and it’s a big reason why he’s successful. He may have forgiven Jennings, but I’m sure he didn’t forget.
        Jennings would also have to apologize to the Packers organization. He said players were “brainwashed” and that everyone “walks on eggshells.” I just don’t see any way he would return. He’ll be 32 this year. He’ll play out his career somewhere else and that’s fine by me. I wanna see Janis and Abbrederis get a chance.

    3. You guys act GJ was your girlfriend and dumped you. We’re not asking you to marry the guy. Come back cheap, keep your mouth shut, and do your job. This is football, not love connection. If 12 is holding his 2nd Lombardi trophy will you really care about GJ’s sister drama from a few years back? I wouldn’t. GJ has done himself irreparable harm by leaving GB, that is penalty enough for me. At least he’s not beating and raping women. He said stupid stuff. I can forgive that.

      1. Come on Archie. GJ is not the difference between winning a super bowl last year. It was because of effin Shaun Slocum and his inability to coach up morons like Brandon Bostick who has the learning capacity of a rock. Both are gone now in case you didn’t notice. Problem solved.
        Next year Janis makes his name known. The guy size and speed wise is a Dez Bryant. I know it’s hard to see it because he’s a white guy. Nobody took Jordy serious either because of his skin color. You need to trust me on this but more importantly trust Ted.

      2. Do you believe the Packers already have enough talent at WR? I do. Do you think Jennings would be good for the locker room? Do you think he’d take a huge pay cut and come back for cheap? It’s doubtful.

        The Packers don’t need to spend carefully saved cap money on a WR who will be 32 by September. If we’ve come to know anything about Aaron Rodgers, it’s that he has a chip on his shoulder. I’m sure he forgives, but he does not forget things like this. It became clear what Jennings thought of the Packers when he left.

        Now the tables are turned on him, so of course he’s open to a reunion. Too bad the Packers won’t be.

        1. The Packers are strong at WR, at least 3 deep, but. because of injuries etc., having a strong 4th and even 5th WR is a good thing.

          If GJ wanted big bucks to come back, forget it. But just 2 years ago, TT was willing to give this guy $40 or $50 MM bucks to stay here. Surely he must still be worth $2-3MM/yr. Either that or TT made a huge mistake (Raji-like) in offering him that kind of money before.

          GJ needs a big-time QB to be productive. That is clear. Plus, GJ was used lightly the last 2 years so I think he has at least 3 good years left in him. He knows the GB system and he knows AROD and AROD knows him. So yeah, he eats a little humble-pie but I’d sign him in a NY minute for that price IF the locker room was good with bringing him back. GJ was very popular with fans & players before he & his sister decided to get stupid.

          1. btw – it looks like TT is getting ready to draft a RB, maybe in the 3rd or 4th rd. I’d also bet he is going to draft a QB, probably in 6th or 7th rd.

            1. RB is definitely a need. Starks will be a FA in 2016 and has had his share of injuries. Lacy’s had 2 concussions and needs breaks when his asthma hits and DuJuan Harris gone. Definitely need a complementary back to Lacy.

              I’d be fine with spending a 3rd or 4th rounder on a RB. I think he’ll draft a QB too, although I think it’s a waste of a pick unless they can develop him and then trade him for a high draft pick in a few years.

              I believe the Packers will have two compensatory 6th rd picks and one compensatory 7th rounder, although it hasn’t been officially announced yet.

          2. I agree that having a 4th and 5th WR is nice, but that’s where Janis and Abbrederis come into play. Signing Jennings just puts the kabosh on them getting a chance. I doubt he’d take a huge pay cut either. At this point I just think the Packers have already moved on from him.

  9. No No and No again. Signing aging vets for too much money is only going to keep the young guys (in this case Janis and Abbrederis and possibly even Adams) from growing. NFL games aren’t won on paper. I HATED the moves the Colts made. They got marginally better at RB – but only because they were atrocious last year. Signing Johnson and letting go of Wayne was dumb. At least Wayne can still run.

    1. We will revisit the Indy moves at mid-season next year. I think they made 4 excellent acquisitions. A strong draft and they will be favorites to make SB next season.

      1. lol. nope. Indy has Luck and a bag of balls. Terrible awful roster in the biggest waste of space division in pro sports. HOW does Indy get to play Tennessee, Jacksonville and Houston 2x a year?? That’s 6 freebies!

  10. Wilfork signed an extremely team friendly contract with the Texans. Waiting out Raji also means that one’s alternatives dry up. Wilfork got 2 yrs., $9 mill, $5 guaranteed ($3 mill signing bonus). Sounds a bit rich until one looks at the structure. Wilfork’s 2015 cap hit is only $3.5 million, but it is ALL GUARANTEED money!! Wilfork’s 2016 cap hit is $5.5 million, but only has $1.5 million left in dead money. Essentially it is a 1 yr. contract for $3.5, well really $5 million in total cap hits. Wilfork can still stuff the run with the best of them, but his pass rush has significantly declined.

    Signing Wilfork would have been money better spent than on Welker or Jennings.

    1. Ted fouled the bed bad on that one. Wilfork was a reincarnation of big Gilbert. In one fell swoop, FA (that doesn’t stand for ‘Free Agent’ by the way) Raji could have taken his one-year wonder show on the road, and Guion, if he came back at all, would be in a reserve role.

      1. I admit that I am not a Raji fan. I don’t know what to expect from Raji. Wilfork would have been a big upgrade, and the team friendly deal he signed just rubs some salt in.

  11. The better question is not why Boykin is not asked back but why he was asked at all. Another good question is to those who were on the Boykin bandwagon to ask them to re-post what they wrote before that was utterly without basis, and obviously without consideration of how a guy can look that BAD with Rodgers throwing him the ball.

    1. Boykin looked good to me in 2013. What happened in 2014? Some say defenses learned how to play him. Lack of speed is tough to overcome but he was very productive in 2013.

Comments are closed.