Vikings sign WR Greg Jennings from rival Packers
The transition from a former league MVP in Aaron Rodgers to the still-developing Ponder won’t be easy. Jennings spoke highly of his time in Green Bay, where he was drafted in the second round in 2006 and spent seven years catching passes from Favre and Rodgers.
He spoke honestly about the hesitation of playing with a quarterback who has been wildly inconsistent in his first two years in the league. So he sat down and watched some video of the Vikings from last season.
What Jennings does have now that he never did in Green Bay, however, is an All-Pro running back. A league MVP, in fact. Adrian Peterson finished last season 9 yards short of breaking Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record.
Jennings has admired Peterson from the other side for years, never more so than in 2012 when he watched Peterson come back from a torn ACL in his left knee to carry the Vikings offense into the playoffs last season.
“You see a guy like `All Day’ sitting in that backfield and you see the cluster of guys that are gathered in that box for him, it’s going to be some special things taking place,” Jennings said, smiling again.
Widely praised as a respected locker room presence who relished charitable work in the Green Bay community, Jennings will certainly be a breath of fresh air in Minnesota off the field as well.
“He’s as great player,” Ponder said of Jennings earlier this week. “He’s been doing great things in Green Bay, and he’d bring leadership to that position. Kind of a dynamic guy you can put in the slot and outside. I’ve always admired his work in Green Bay, and he seems like a great guy to have on a team.”
Said coach Leslie Frazier: “We’re really excited about the fact that he brings high character. He’s a tremendous athlete. We all know that. But what he’ll bring to our locker room, the energy that he’ll bring to what we do at practice along with his leadership, those were all qualities we were looking for when we talked with Greg.”
Jennings dined with Frazier, Spielman, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and defensive end Jared Allen at a downtown steakhouse on Thursday night before the two sides got down to business on Friday.
Jennings said he and his wife quickly felt as if they were part of a family. The Vikings were the only team he visited, and he said he had an inkling on his way to Minnesota that this would be where he ended up.
“I definitely wanted to know that they wanted me,” he said. “I wanted to feel that they wanted me to be a part of what they were doing and a part of the future. And I got that feeling early and I got that feeling quite often.”
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