Vikings sign ex-Packer Jennings along with CasselRegional Sports
-- The Minnesota Vikings nipped a division rival of one of its long-time producers, reaching a deal with former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings on Friday.
Eden Prairie, MN (Sports Network) - The Minnesota Vikings nipped a division rival of one of its long-time producers, reaching a deal with former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings on Friday.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but multiple media outlets are reporting the contract to be worth up to $47.5 million -- with $18 million guaranteed -- over five years.
Over his first seven seasons, Jennings became one of the most productive receivers in Packers history, but the Vikings made a strong push to bring the speedy pass catcher to Minnesota.
"I definitely wanted to know they wanted me," said Jennings at his introductory press conference. "I got that feeling early and I got that feeling quite often."
Jennings appeared in just eight games during his final season in Green Bay, as he was hampered by a groin injury most of the campaign. He had just 36 catches for 366 yards and four touchdowns, but ranks among the best pass catchers to ever play for the Packers.
A second-round draft choice by Green Bay in the 2006 NFL Draft, Jennings became a top 10 producer in franchise history in several categories, ranking seventh in both receptions (425) and receiving yards (6,537), while placing fifth in touchdown catches (53) over the course of his career.
"I have the utmost respect for the Green Bay Packer organization," Jennings said. "They started my career and gave me the first opportunity, but it is a business."
Matt Cassel has found a new home, agreeing to become Christian Ponder's new backup in Minnesota. Cassel signed a deal with the Vikings Friday.
The 30-year-old Cassel spent the past four seasons in Kansas City and had two years remaining on the massive $63 million dollar deal he signed shortly after being acquired from New England. A poor 2012 season sealed his fate with the Chiefs, who acquired Alex Smith in a trade with San Francisco and signed Chase Daniel as a backup in the first couple days of free agency.
Cassel originally joined the Chiefs in July 2009 after leading the Patriots to 11 wins while Tom Brady missed the 2008 season with a knee injury. After the Chiefs struggled in Cassel's first year, he helped the club to a surprise AFC West title in 2010.
The 30-year-old USC product played just 18 games over the past two seasons because of injuries and ineffectiveness. He suffered a concussion in early October this past season and played just nine games, throwing for 1,796 yards with six touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
Cassel completed 57.4 percent of his passes for 9,549 yards with 59 touchdowns and 44 interceptions during his four seasons in Kansas City. His 2010 campaign included 3,116 yards with 27 touchdowns and just seven picks.
A seventh-round pick of the Patriots in 2005, Cassel had thrown just 39 passes in his first three seasons as Brady's backup before being thrust into the starter's role in the 2008 season opener. He went on to throw for 3,693 yards with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions that season.
The Vikings have stayed loyal to Ponder, who has struggled mightily at times himself, and Cassel isn't expected to challenge for the starting job in Minneapolis. However, the veteran should prove to be a significant upgrade from Joe Webb, who flamed out as an injury replacement for Ponder in the team's playoff game at Green Bay last season.
The Minnesota Vikings have resigned unrestricted free agents offensive lineman Joe Berger and defensive back Jamarca Sanford. Sanford, a seventh-round selection of the Vikings in 2009, started 13 games for Minnesota last season and racked up 66 tackles, five passes defensed and four forced fumbles. Berger made seven starts during his first season in Minnesota in 2011, but the 30-year-old offensive lineman served primarily as a backup last season, although appearing in all 16 games.