The Vikings are set to meet with Packers free agent receiver Greg Jennings Thursday, according to ESPN and confirmed by FOX Sports.
Jennings has been rumored as a Vikings target for some time, but more because of need than any concrete evidence the Vikings were truly interested. Now, however, that is changing.
Whether Jennings is truly interested in the Vikings or using the visit for leverage for a better deal with Green Bay is the mystery. The Vikings, however, have the cap space to do a bigger deal.
Jennings is the last remaining of the receivers on the market who are considered top tier. Dwayne Bowe re-signed with the Kansas City Chiefs before free agency started and Mike Wallace signed with the Miami Dolphins on the opening day of free agency.
Jennings reportedly turned down an offer from the Packers that averaged about $10 million per year, and receivers like Vincent Jackson, Bowe and Harvin are all averaging between $11 million and $12 million per year.
Jennings will turn 30 in September, making him older than the typical free agent the Vikings usually look to sign, and injuries derailed his 2012 season, when he played in only eight games, starting five with 36 receptions for 366 yards. In each of his previous six seasons with the Packers, Jennings had started 13 or more games, registering three 1,000-yard campaigns from 2008 to 2010. In 2008, he set career highs with 80 catches for 1,292 yards. In 2010, he had 76 catches for 1,265 yards and a career-best 12 touchdowns.
For his seven-year career, Jennings has caught 425 passes for 6,537 yards (15.4-yard average) and 53 touchdowns. His per-catch average of 10.2 in 2012 is down sharply from his averages of 17.4 in 2007, 16.2 in 2008, 16.4 in 2009 and 16.6 in 2010.
The Vikings’ need at receiver is obvious, especially after trading Harvin to Seattle. They re-signed Jerome Simpson to a two-year contract, but he and Jarius Wright are the only two wide receivers returning with more than 10 catches – Simpson had 26 and Wright 22 last year.