Coveted free agent wide receiver Greg Jennings has agreed to join the Minnesota Vikings, having played his entire career with the rival Green Bay Packers. He signed a five year, $47.5 million contract, including $18 in guaranteed money to help third year quarterback Christian Ponder after the team traded Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks earlier in the offseason.
The Vikings had been linked to other receivers, such as Mike Wallace, who signed a five year, $60 million contract with the Miami Dolphins, or Victor Cruz, who is a restricted free agent of the New York Giants with a first round tender. The Vikings netted a first-round pick from the Harvin trade, which would have given them an incentive to trade for Cruz.
Instead, they opted for the cheaper, and older, option in Greg Jennings, 29, with the added bonus that it in turn weakens their biggest rival. Not that the Packers are hurting for wideouts with Jordy Nelson, James Jones, and Randall Cobb, but Jennings was the veteran presence in the room, especially with Donald Driver announcing his retirement.
Jennings has been limited with injuries over the past two seasons, missing three in 2011 and eight just a year ago, making only five starts. Still, he owns 425 receptions in seven seasons for 6537 yards. He averages 15.4 yards per reception and has 53 touchdowns.
In his prime, between 2008 and 2010, he totaled 224 receptions for 3670 yards on 16.4 yards per reception and 25 touchdowns. He also had a highly productive season in 2007 despite missing three games, managing 920 yards and 12 touchdowns on 17.4 yards per reception.
Jennings’ role has been reduced in Green Bay with the emergence of Randall Cobb, so the opportunity to be a centerpiece of an offense in Minnesota was likely a major draw for the prideful receiver. He is, however, going from Aaron Rodgers to Christian Ponder.
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