Friday, March 15, 2013

Greg Jennings Signs With The Vikings

I'm a little stunned that WR Greg Jennings is no longer a Green Bay Packer. I don't really think it will be that weird to see him wearing a Vikings uniform because he's always wearing a big smile, and he'll be on good terms with his former teammates the first time he plays against them next season.

This is a business decision for him. The money is good (five-years, $47.5 million, with $18 million in guaranteed money, and he'll make $27 million over the first three years). Maybe the Packers did offer him more once upon a time, but they weren't making that offer now or he'd have stayed.
The Packers will survive his departure because of the great depth they've assembled at wide receiver, but now finding a promising young receiver in the draft they can develop for the future becomes an issue. He can still play and he could have helped them next season, but they do have to consider the long-term picture. A big contract for Jennings now might have caused a problem later when they try to extend WR Jordy Nelson or WR Randall Cobb.

His rookie season of 2006 got off to a good start as he earned the starting job out of training camp, but a mid-season hamstring injury wrecked it for the most part. He bounced back in 2007 with a 12 touchdown season and he looked like a great No. 2 receiver behind WR Donald Driver. But over the next couple seasons, 2008 through 2010, he became their No. 1 receiver and the focal point of the offense. During that time, the offense seemed to slow down if they kept the ball away from him for any length of time.

He was still playing great in 2011 until he suffered a late season knee injury, but he had started to lose importance in the offense as Nelson emerged as a big play threat and Cobb developed into a promising rookie. A groin injury wrecked his final season in Green Bay and he didn't look like his old self until late in the 2012 season.

He ends his Packer career with 425 receptions, No. 7 overall. He also finishes with 6537 career receiving yards and 86 touchdown receptions. Ironically, his career stats are almost identical to WR Antonio Freeman (who took 20 more games to reach the same level). That leaves him as one of the best receivers ever to play for the Packers, and that should be remembered as he heads to play the next few seasons for a division rival.

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