Greg Jennings: NFL Teams That Must Gamble on WR
The St. Louis Rams are reportedly not interested in signing Greg Jennings, but the Miami Dolphins would be silly not to take a risk and sign the productive receiver.
SI.com's Don Banks recently wrote:
If St. Louis does lose Amendola, it doesn't mean they're going to be in the chase for a big-name, big-money free agent receiver like Greg Jennings or Dwayne Bowe. That's not in the plan for the Rams, who consider Jennings an injury risk himself after his 2012 season...
Two injury-ridden seasons shouldn't detract from Jennings' potential value. Jennings dealt with knee and groin injuries in 2011 and 2012, but as NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal points out in his free-agent receiver rankings:
He would not be ranked second here if not for how he looked when he returned to the Green Bay Packers late in the 2012 season. His after-catch ability was back. Jennings' hands, smarts and guile were never in doubt.
Is Jennings an injury risk in 2013?
Furthermore, he's only 29 years old, and during his six seasons before his 2012 disaster, he only missed eight games.
Jennings has a lot to offer a team in need of a reliable receiver and a veteran in the locker room. During his time with the Packers, he averaged 4.4 receptions, 68.1 yards and .55 touchdowns per game.
Sure, he's no Calvin Johnson, but Jennings is undoubtedly a quality receiver who will make a meaningful contribution in 2013.
Here are the teams that should look past his recent injury history and take a gamble on a fruitful future.
Head coach Joe Philbin and Jennings have a history together from the time they both spent with the Green Bay Packers.
Philbin knows what kind of playmaker Jennings will be for his offense, and even more importantly, how important he will be for second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
These two parties have been linked for a while now, too.
When asked about the possibility of joining his former coach, Jennings recently told NFL Network's Lindsay Rhodes, via Gregg Rosenthal, "I wouldn't mind that at all. The weather's definitely nice. They have an up and coming quarterback."
The Dolphins need to bring in receivers. Period. As productive as Brian Hartline was last year, he'd be a No. 3 receiver on many teams.
A bonus would be that Jennings already knows the offense the Dolphins run, and he'd be able to hit the ground running with Tannehill in mini-camps.
The Texans are on the cusp of great things, but the team has been missing one critical element on offense the past couple of years: Houston needs a complementary receiver to play opposite Andre Johnson.
As dominant as Johnson is, teams were able to shut him down in the red zone. He only caught four touchdowns all year long, including the team's two playoff games.
Kevin Walter isn't the kind of player that teams fear, and opposing defenses were able to effectively shift coverage to Johnson's side of the field. Matt Schaub found him for tons of yardage in between the 20s, but the duo couldn't connect when it mattered most.
Bringing Jennings on board would give Houston the dual threat it needs to attack opposing defenses at any point on the field on any given play, allowing the Texans to run a more balanced offense.
Earl Bennett doesn't get open often enough, Alshon Jeffery hasn't proven anything yet in this league and Devin Hester may be on his way out the door (h/t the Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs).
Cutler and Brandon Marshall were phenomenal together last year, hooking up for 118 receptions for 1,508 yards and 11 touchdowns. Aside from Marshall, though, the rest of the team's receivers put up pedestrian numbers.
Marc Trestman was brought on as the new head coach of the Bears to give Jay Cutler the best chance to achieve his potential, and adding a receiver like Jennings would be another smart move to assist in this process.
As an added bonus, Jennings would have the pleasure of sticking it to his former team twice a year in the NFC North's fiercest rivalry.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78
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