Black and Blue all over: No deal for Jennings
The Green Bay Packers have two young players whose contracts will expire at the end of the 2009 season. They have more than $20 million in salary cap space and less than a week before the NFL deadline for using 2008 cap money on future contracts.
But at least one of those players, receiver Greg Jennings, isn't interested in completing an in-season agreement. Jennings told Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he wants no distractions at such a critical point in the season.
"My thought process is that even if there is something out there, I don't want to do anything until after the season," Jennings said. "I don't want to mess with it. I'm going to wait. If it were to happen this season, it would happen at the end of the season. It definitely won't happen right now."
There is no evidence the Packers have initiated substantive discussions with either Jennings or quarterback Aaron Rodgers, whose contract also expires after 2009. There is certainly no rush, and at this point it appears both players want to re-sign eventually. It just won't happen in the next week, in all likelihood.
Continuing around the NFC North:
- You figured this was coming. Tom Pelissero of the Green Bay Press-Gazette looks at the benefits Tennessee has garnered from having a veteran backup quarterback behind opening day starter Vince Young. Kerry Collins has the Titans undefeated, while the Packers have to keep their fingers crossed that rookie backup Matt Flynn remains on the sidelines.
- Chicago coach Lovie Smith has been open about his support for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, but Smith went out of his way to let reporters know he has already voted for him. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times explains.
- Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald doesn't think Bears linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer (thumb) will play this week. Instead, Nick Roach is the likely starter.
- David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune wonders if the Bears should move one of their three cornerbacks -- Charles Tillman, Nate Vasher and Corey Graham -- to safety in the long term.
- Minnesota's special teams, which have allowed five touchdowns this season, will face a stiff test against Houston's Jacoby Jones on Sunday. Jones has two touchdowns on punt returns. Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune lay out the situation.
- Vikings defensive end Jared Allen used the bye week to have his driver's license restored in Arizona, where it was revoked because of legal entanglements. Allen tells the story in his St. Paul Pioneer Press diary.
- Detroit doesn't have a ton of talent on defense, but even their best tackler -- linebacker Ernie Sims -- is struggling. Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press has the story.
- John Niyo of the Detroit News pokes fun at the "Drew Stanton crowd," which learned Thursday that Lions offensive coordinator Jim Colletto won't play Stanton because he doesn't want to embarrass him.