New Dolphins Greg Jennings thinks he's still got a couple good years left

Greg Jennings' relationship with Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin helped convince him that Miami should be his next team

Patience is usually what comes with age and wisdom, so it's not too surprising to learn Greg Jennings wasn't willing to rush his free agent decision.

During Jennings' monthlong free agent process, the nine-year veteran made sure that every team interested in his services understood he wasn't going to sign during his visits.


But throughout the entire ordeal, Jennings kept in touch with Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, with whom he began his career in Green Bay, where Philbin served as the Packers' offensive coordinator.

It was that relationship and the opportunity to prove he can still be a productive starting receiver that convinced Jennings to sign a two-year deal this week that could be worth as much as $8 million with the Dolphins.


"Joe and I talked frequently," said Jennings, who visited the Panthers, Jaguars and Saints before making his decision. "I kept him up to date on the different visits and always was open and honest with him as he's always been dating back to our time together in Green Bay.

"I know what kind of man [Philbin] is, the values, the morals that he has and instills within his own guys as well as those that are in him," Jennings continued. "I can be upfront and forthright with him. That's not always the case when it comes to making decision like this."

And Philbin knows he can rely on Jennings to be a mentor to Miami's young receivers, which only features players entering their second (Jarvis Landry), third (Kenny Stills) or fourth season (Rishard Matthews) in the NFL.

The Dolphins didn't just want to sign any veteran receiver. Considering how toxic the unit became last season — which led to the release of Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson, plus Mike Wallace and a seventh-round pick being traded to the Vikings for a fifth-round pick — the organization realized they needed the right veteran.


The Dolphins hosted Michael Crabtree and Wes Welker on visits, but Jennings was the team's first choice.

"Greg brings a track record of success and is a proven player who can help strengthen the offense," said General Manager Dennis Hickey.

Jennings, who will turn 32 in September, is a couple seasons removed from his Green Bay days when he caught 900-plus yards worth of passes from 2007-11 and scored 46 touchdowns as Brett Favre and Aaron Rodger's primary target.

But he's still productive. Last season Jennings caught 742 yards worth of passes and scored six touchdowns for the Vikings, who waived him the day after trading for Wallace in March.

Jennings has averaged 14.6 yards per reception during his nine-year NFL career. He averaged just 12.2 yards per catch in his two seasons in Minnesota, and contributed 209 yards after the catch last season.

Jennings doesn't view this as the final chapter of his NFL career. In fact, he believes his career could take off in Miami's spread offense, where he'll likely replace Hartline as the Dolphins' starting split end receiver.

"I personally don't feel like I have anything to prove, but given this arena, you have to prove what you can do," Jennings said. "I'm not one that drives this vehicle, using a car analogy, with a rearview mirror. I'm not concerned with everyone else around me when it comes to what I bring to the table."