RandBall: Greg Jennings -- Vikings vs. Packers
- Blog Post by: Michael Rand
- March 13, 2013 - 9:22 AM
One of the Vikings’ primary wide receiver targets in free agency could have his decision come down to this, if published reports are correct: Does Greg Jennings want Aaron Rodgers or Christian Ponder throwing him the ball?
The Vikings are reportedly wooing him, but the door has opened at least a crack now for the Packers to retain the receiver, who had at least 900 yards receiving every year from 2007-11 before suffering through an injury-plagued 2012. He also has four career seasons with at least nine TD catches. Though he will turn 30 early in the 2013 season, he should have plenty of good seasons left in him.
Jennings has been our No. 1 receiver preference all along; Mike Wallace getting five years and $65 million? You can have him, Miami. Jennings is a better fit for this offense because he can stretch a defense with at least an intermediate-to-deep route while also picking up tough yards in the slot. Plus, of course, he is an option taken away from the Packers.
The interesting thing is that Green Bay is in the mix on him at all. As this Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel story notes:
Two months ago, Jennings seemed good as gone. He slowly removed family photos from his locker. He spoke in a somber tone. Now, Jennings has a realistic shot of staying in Green Bay. One challenge the Packers face is figuring out exactly what the market is for the free agent receiver.
If the price is right, he could be back in Green Bay. Jennings fed the madness himself at about 9:20 p.m., tweeting a cryptic, "Hmmm................."
The Vikings, in many ways, appear to be trying to emulate the Packers’ approach to building a roster. They are stockpiling draft picks and don’t appear prone to throwing money at quick fixes. But in the case of Jennings, the premier target at a position of massive need – a need that grew even larger when they traded Percy Harvin – perhaps the Vikings are erring on the side of caution? Or maybe the Vikings just aren’t all that interested? Or maybe everyone is faking interest/non-interest in order to try to drive the price down?
All we know is this: If Jennings is in purple next year, it’s a good thing even if Minnesota has to overpay a little. If he winds up somewhere else – particularly Green Bay – for modest money, this will be seen as a huge opportunity wasted. The Vikings traded Harvin and don't have to pay him. They cut Antoine Winfield. The money is there. Will they spend it on Jennings and will he come here regardless are the two questions looming large today.
© 2013 Star Tribune