Several reports this week indicate that the Miami Dolphins could be front-runners to land wide receiver Greg Jennings if he is not retained by the Green Bay Packers. Because of the depth and talent of the Green Bay receiving corps, it seems likely that Jennings will hit the free agency market and reel in a massive contract as the top receiving weapon on the market. The Miami Dolphins have the cap space to sign Jennings, but should they spring for the expensive, long-term contract that will be required?
Ryan Tannehill had a solid first season in the NFL, despite limited weapons on offense. His best receivers wouldn’t make the top half of many NFL offenses, and his rushing attack was inconsistent. Tannehill started all 16 games for a mediocre Dolphins team, completing 58% of his passes and throwing 12 touchdowns with 13 picks. He averaged a little over 200 yards passing per game, with his biggest receiving threat being Brian Hartline.
Bringing in a receiver like Jennings will surely bolster Tannehill’s numbers. Jennings draws significant attention in the secondary, which would allow players like Hartline, should the Dolphins keep him, to get open underneath. Additionally, a wide receiver of Jennings’ caliber can serve as a safety blanket for a young receiver as he learns to deal with pressure. Sacked 35 times last season, Tannehill would benefit from having a bona fide top receiving target. Jennings could take Tannehill under his wing, developing a relationship with the second-year quarterback that helps him mature while developing as a passer.
Still, Jennings is going to be especially expensive to sign this season. Turning 30 this season and coming off an injury-plagued contract year, Jennings could be a risky signing. He could be about to slow down, particularly when receiving passes from an inexperienced quarterback, and though the Dolphins have the cap space to make a big splash in the market this year, there may be better options at wide receiver in the coming years that don’t carry as much risk.
Should the Dolphins sign Jennings if given the opportunity? I think so; They have the cap space to make a move and a desperate need for a wide receiver – But I can also see where the risk may not be worth the exorbitant amount of money it will take to bring in a player like Jennings.