The Vikings spent Thursday wining and dining Greg Jennings. As of Friday afternoon there was still some suspense over whether the receiver would sign in Minnesota or fly back to Green Bay. But in the end Rick Spielman got his man. Friday night the Vikings announced they had signed the now-former Packer for five years. And nary a complaint about the Percy Harvin trade was heard that night.
Outside of the obvious at least short-term PR benefit, the Jennings signing means all sorts of good things for the Vikings. It means they finally have a potential #1 receiver. It means Christian Ponder has a savvy veteran to work with. It means they can take a new look at their draft board and perhaps consider some different possibilities. Above all it means we no longer have to hear about the Vikings not being players in free agency.
Yes, for the first time since becoming GM, Spielman made a splash. And if the Twitter chatter is any indication, the ripples are being felt pretty strongly in Green Bay. A lot of Packer fans are not taking this news well. Apparently someone forgot to inform these clowns that it’s a business and sometimes your favorite players have to leave. Are all those people five years old? He didn’t betray you, morons. They didn’t want to pay him so he went somewhere else.
If you’re so upset Packer peeps, why don’t you bring it up at the next stockholders meeting? I’m sure Ted Thompson will listen to you. You are owners after all.
Of course, as with all free agent signings, there are some possible negatives to look at here. There’s a reason Jennings’ value dipped in 2012. He was hurt and his production was not on par with past seasons. He did perform better as the season wore on so that’s reassuring. But you still have to wonder about injury issues and just where this guy is on the career curve. Could be he is sliding. Or could be he still has several highly productive seasons left in him.
But then you also have to ask, how will he fit into the offense? How will he work with Christian Ponder? Do you have enough other receiving weapons to make this whole thing function as you hope? I think we all know the answer to that last one. No, the Vikings don’t yet have a full receiver corps. Jerome Simpson is the #2 right now and he’s not a #2. You need at least one more really strong receiver. The Vikes have two first rounders and may use one of them to fill that need. And with Jennings in the fold you can argue they no longer necessarily have to target an outside threat. So is a smaller guy like Tavon Austin more in the picture?
There could also be another free agent signing. Obviously it wouldn’t be anyone expensive. The Vikes are done chasing down the big fish for this offseason you have to believe. But they should still have one or two moves left in them. So the fun hasn’t quite stopped for this year. But nobody they sign from now on will have the same impact as Jennings. That was the guy fans wanted. And they got him. They’re happy for today. But it’s early yet.