I’d be surprised to see the Saints spend big money on the receiver position. For one thing, they’re only $4.4 million under the salary cap and need nearly $3 million of that space for their draft picks. For another thing, New Orleans coach Sean Payton has talked about the depth of receiver talent available in this year’s draft, where the Saints hold five of the top 78 picks.
Though Jennings didn’t live up to lofty expectations over the past two years with the Minnesota Vikings after he signed a five-year $45 million contract, he remains one of the NFL’s best slot receivers and route runners. And he thrived when paired with elite quarterbacks Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers during his first seven seasons with the Green Bay Packers.
A return to a West Coast-style offense and another elite quarterback in Drew Brees could be an excellent fit for Jennings, who has 552 catches, 8,083 yards and 63 touchdowns in his career -- plus another six TD catches in the postseason, including two in Green Bay’s Super Bowl XLV win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Jennings (6-foot, 195 pounds) made the Pro Bowl with the Packers in both 2010 and 2011.
Jennings was solid but unspectacular in Minnesota, in part because he worked with four different quarterbacks and two different coaching staffs and offensive systems. He had 127 catches for 1,546 yards and 10 TDs over that two-year span, though he finished strong with four TDs over his final six games as he started to develop a connection with rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater.
Jennings was due $9 million in salary and bonuses this year. The Vikings released him after they made a blockbuster trade for dynamic speed receiver Mike Wallace, whom they saw as a better fit in offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s vertical offense.
Here’s what ESPN Vikings reporter Ben Goessling wrote about Jennings when he was released.
The Saints have a lot of options at the receiver position, but very few proven commodities behind projected starters Marques Colston and Brandin Cooks. Fourth-year pro Nick Toon, fifth-year pro Joe Morgan and second-year pros Brandon Coleman and Seantavius Jones will compete for roles with any newcomers.