GREEN BAY – If the Green Bay Packers don’t end up re-signing unrestricted free-agent wide receiver Greg Jennings, they probably won’t have seen the last of him.
An NFL source confirmed Thursday morning what was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter: That Jennings was visiting the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday. The Packers’ NFC North division rival was set to host Jennings at their Winter Park facility, and in most instances, NFL teams try not to allow free-agent visitors to leave without signing a contract with them.
Jennings hardly would be the first Packers player to bolt for their border rivals, as kicker Ryan Longwell, quarterback Brett Favre and others have wound up in Vikings purple.
Jennings, 29, has spent the last seven seasons with the Packers after entering the league as a second-round pick in 2006 out of Western Michigan. The Vikings are in the market for a wide receiver after trading Percy Harvin to Seattle earlier this week and suffering through a 2012 season with second-year quarterback Christian Ponder getting little help from his receiving corps of Michael Jenkins, Jerome Simpson and Devin Aromashodu.
On Tuesday, Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com in Minneapolis/St. Paul reported that the Vikings had stopped pursuing Jennings because they were unwilling to meet his asking price, which at the time had been for a deal averaging $11 million to $12 million per season.
Two deals signed by veteran wide receivers Wednesday may have led Jennings to drop his asking price. Ex-New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker, 31, signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Denver Broncos, and the Patriots then signed ex-St. Louis Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola, 27, to a five-year deal worth $31 million with $10 million guaranteed to replace Welker.
The biggest free-agent wide receiver signing so far this offseason was Mike Wallace, who received a five-year, $65 million deal with $30 million guaranteed from the Miami Dolphins.
An NFL source said late Wednesday night that talks between the Packers and Jennings’ agent, Eugene Parker, were “ongoing,” but that no deal was “imminent.” The Green Bay Press-Gazette, citing sources, said the sides were getting closer to a deal.
Jennings suffered through an injury-marred 2012 season in which a torn lower abdominal muscle cost him eight games and limited him to only 36 catches for 366 yards and four touchdowns. But he had his biggest game of the year against the Vikings in the Dec. 30 regular-season finale, catching eight passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns.
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