Jennings wanted a fresh start

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 16, 2013 - 11:27 PM

The signing of the wide receiver capped a huge week for the team.

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Greg Jennings breaks away for a 24-yard touchdown reception during the first half of game against the Vikings. Jennings signed with Minnesota on Friday.

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By the time Greg Jennings left his home in Michigan on Thursday, destined for a career-changing job interview in the Twin Cities, he knew exactly what he was seeking.

Jennings wanted a fresh start.

He has no problems admitting that, even after the seven productive seasons he enjoyed in Green Bay, putting himself on the map as a premier NFL receiver.

But Jennings also wanted to know a marriage with the Vikings would feel right.

He wanted to get a sense for whether his talents could be utilized properly. He wanted to believe that he could develop rapport with quarterback Christian Ponder.

As much as anything, Jennings wanted to feel wanted.

So when he arrived in town Thursday?

“I got that feeling early,” he said. “And I got that feeling quite often.”

How could Jennings not feel wanted by a Vikings organization that had started the week by express-mailing Percy Harvin to Seattle in the week’s biggest trade?

How could he not feel loved by a team that had the 31st-ranked passing attack in 2012 and set out this offseason to fix that?

It was no major surprise, then, that a truly chaotic week ended Friday night at Winter Park with Jennings feeling surprisingly comfortable in the team colors he had recently told Packers teammate James Jones he never could envision himself wearing.

Yet there he was — big smile, reliable hands, positive energy and all.

Jennings was now a Viking.

“Hey,” he said. “Minnesota stepped up to the plate.”

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Jennings had so many reasons for his grin. There was, of course, the five-year contract, reportedly worth as much as $47.5 million.

But there were 508 additional reasons for excitement — as in the 508 yards NFL MVP Adrian Peterson gashed Green Bay for in three games last season.

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