2013 NFL Free Agency: Top 5 Suitors For Greg Jennings
The Green Bay Packers and Greg Jennings appear ready to part ways. After seven seasons, two Pro Bowl selections and a Super Bowl ring, the 29-year-old Jennings is on the brink of testing the free agent market for the first time in his career. Though he’s been a bit banged up the past two seasons, Jennings still possesses the skill set of a top ten wide receiver; runs routes as good as anyone and rarely drops passes.
Since Jennings can still be a No. 1 threat in the NFL, here are five teams I believe will (or should) attempt to sign him in free agency:
5. San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers have arguably the league’s best defense. Their running game is solid and they’ve found their franchise quarterback in Colin Kaepernick. However, they lack star power at wide receiver, with Michael Crabtree being their lone threat. Though tight end Vernon Davis can sometimes make up for what’s lacking in that area, a team with a great secondary (aka the Seahawks) can stop Crabtree, and no other receiver is able to fill the void. This is where Jennings comes in. Since Mario Manningham didn’t work out the way they hoped, and Randy Moss being a one-year thing, Jennings could provide the perfect 1-2 punch at wideout this team is missing opposite Crabtree.
4. Cleveland Browns
The Browns have a young receiving corps that possesses a lot of potential. Their problem, however, is inexperience. Josh Cooper, Josh Gordon and Travis Benjamin were all rookies, while Greg Little was only one year removed from his rookie season. Pair that with a rookie quarterback, and there’s not much veteran knowledge and leadership going on with this offense. Jennings is the perfect solution to this problem. The Browns have almost $49 million in cap space, and could afford to pay Jennings while also filling other holes in the roster. Plus, Jennings would be the ideal safety blanket for Brandon Weeden, while being the undisputed leader and mentor of a receiving corps he could help greatly improve (like he did in Green Bay).
3. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are another team with a young and inexperienced receiving corps (aside from Reggie Wayne of course) that could use Jennings. With $46 million in cap space, the Colts can afford to start building a talent-laden roster around quarterback Andrew Luck. And with 34-year-old receiver Reggie Wayne proving this year he still has some gas in the tank, Jennings could come in and help take some pressure of opposing defenses away from Wayne. Just think about Luck having two veteran receivers he can throw to when under duress, as well as how much more the younger guys can improve around Jennings and Wayne.
2. Seattle Seahawks
Like their NFC West counterparts on this list, the Seahawks are really missing only one piece: a big-play, deep-threat receiver. Jennings is their guy. Golden Tate and Sidney Rice are good, but not great. Tate isn’t a No. 1 wideout and Rice hasn’t been the same since he was with the Vikings catching passes from Brett Favre. Jennings can be the Seahawks No. 1 guy and give franchise quarterback Russell Wilson a consistent and reliable target.
1. Miami Dolphins
Keeping with a theme of teams Jennings can join that have rookie quarterbacks and no true No. 1 receiver, the Dolphins top my list for a variety of reasons. For starters, their head coach is Joe Philbin, who was the Packers offensive coordinator from 2007-2011. During that span, Jennings had 900+ yards in every season, while catching a total of 46 touchdowns. Philbin would know exactly how to utilize Jennings in his gameplan, while also being able to increase the production of Brian Hartline opposite Jennings. Additionally, Jennings would be the most ideal security blanket for Ryan Tannehill (since every young quarterback needs one) while simultaneously stretching the field for tight end Anthony Fasano and running back Reggie Bush to turn short passes and screens into big plays.