Greg Jennings signs with Minnesota Vikings
After trading away Percy Harvin, the Minnesota Vikings had no choice but to find another receiver or two. Fortunately for them, an outstanding option just happened to be on the free-agent market.
That player: Greg Jennings, who agreed to a five-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings late Friday night.
Jennings played just eight games last season as he struggled with injuries; his 36 catches and 366 yards both were career lows. In the four seasons prior to that, though, the former Packer averaged nearly 73 receptions and more than 1,150 yards per year as one of Aaron Rodgers’ most reliable targets.
He’s exactly the type of player Minnesota needed, too, to complement sensational running back Adrian Peterson. The Vikings’ receiving corps prior to Jennings’ signing consisted of Jerome Simpson, Jarius Wright, Greg Childs, Stephen Burton and Chris Summers — that quintet combined for all of 53 catches last season, 48 of those belonging to the Simpson-Wright duo.
Jennings is versatile enough to play any receiver spot, though he’s clearly the No. 1 option in Minnesota for the time being. The Vikings do have two first-round picks (the second coming courtesy of that Harvin trade with Seattle), which could put them in line to pick up another pass-catcher.
That the Vikings grabbed Jennings from the Packers will add a little extra satisfaction for Minnesota. The Packers did not seem willing to pay Jennings what he reportedly started out free agency asking for (around $10 million per year), but they had expressed interest in bringing him back at a reduced price.
Which quarterback will be throwing Jennings passes is a bit up in the air, following Minnesota’s signing of Matt Cassel. The ex-Chief figures to challenge Christian Ponder for the starting job.
No matter who wins that competition, his job will be much easier with Jennings running routes.
Grade: A-minus. The Vikings had a lot of money to burn this offseason and, even before the trade of Harvin, a clear need at wide receiver. Jennings puts them in a much better position heading into the draft. And if they land one or two more options there, a potential positional weakness could become a strength.