For years he played for their bitter rivals the Green Bay Packers, there but now the former top wide receiver for Aaron Rodgers and the high-octane Packers offense, sales Greg Jennings has signed with the Minnesota Vikings. Agreeing to a five-year deal that’s said to be worth up to $47.5 million with $18 million guaranteed.
It was not only a move the Vikings needed to make after having no legitimate No. 1 receiver after trading away disgruntled versatile top young receiver Percy Harvin earlier in the week, shop but it was a great move for the team as well. Especially considering that besides being known as someone who could not only be a dynamic guy from the slot or outside and a great player, Jennings is also known as a good person in general that will bring great leadership to the team.
With the young receiving corps of Jerome Simpson and second-year slot receiver Jurius Wright, Jennings, who is a two-time Pro Bowler will provide just that, a great leader and positive locker room presence that this team needs to help groom the young receivers and will also bring great energy and work ethic to the practice field as they develop along with young Vikings starting quarterback Christian Ponder. That’s not even including the one or two receivers the Vikings will likely bring in the draft too.
The signing is a good one for the Vikings as well because Jennings despite being injured most of last year is still a top 25 and at worst top 30, probably even top 26 receiver in the league. His signing is sure to open things up more for reigning NFL Most Valuable Player Adrian Peterson, who is coming off a career year that had him finish just 9 yards short of breaking Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record. Teams will no longer be able to box up nine to ten in the box nearly as much as they did last year and the scary thing is Peterson is still in the prime of his career and only getting better. Which could only make things more difficult for opposing defenses if he still keeps getting better.
Playing with an All-Pro running back like Peterson is something the soon to be 30-year-old Jennings never had the luxury of doing while he was in Green Bay as well. The fact that he never did and teams could still try to fill the box at times against Peterson only will open things up more for Jennings to be open a lot more if they aren’t. You add to that the other fact that Jennings enjoyed some of his best road games at Minnesota, while with the Packers, scoring seven touchdowns in seven games and averaging 11 more yards than any of the rest of his career road games and that’s a good sign. Not to mention that despite not being nearly the revered quarterback as Aaron Rodgers or having the great arm strength he has, Ponder still is at the very least accurate. He had a 62.1 percent completion rate despite not having that great of a receiving core most of the year. It’s just a matter of him finding Jennings when he is open.
So while on paper it looks like a good signing and could potentially turn out that way it’s just a matter of Jennings staying healthy like he did most of the beginning of his career and being at the very least a third or half the way productive as he was to start his career. While it doesn’t weaken or strengthen the Packers, who are still the class of the NFC North division it has the potential to strengthen and help the Vikings close that gap. We will obviously have to wait and see how it turns out in another year or two, but the signing at least gives Vikings fans hope even if it doesn’t improve them to Super Bowl contenders right away like another former Packer, Brett Favre did just a few years ago.