Greg Jennings credits Miami exec with getting him to sign with Dolphins

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. -- During a handful of free-agent visits after he was released from the Minnesota Vikings in March, Greg Jennings didn't think he'd eventually end up with the Miami Dolphins. He had visited the Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, and he left Miami after his initial visit with some concerns about how he'd fit in there.

A phone conversation with Dolphins vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum, Jennings said, eventually assuaged those concerns.

"There were just a few things I had that I wanted to share with him personally, because everybody has a pitch. Everybody has an angle," Jennings said from his charity golf tournament at Rush Creek Golf Club on Monday. "Shoot straight, because I'm going to shoot straight. Every visit, I shared my heart. This is what I'm looking for: I'm looking to be a leader in the locker room. I'm looking to be respected as a man of God, as a football player. Those are the things that are really important to me -- and moreso, who I am, not what I can provide. Those were some of the things we cleared up. That's really Mike and I."

Jennings, who signed a two-year, $8 million deal with the Dolphins on April 23, will be reunited with head coach Joe Philbin, his former offensive coordinator with the Green Bay Packers. He will be in a familiar offense that could fit him better than offensive coordinator Norv Turner's downfield passing attack did in Minnesota last season. And Jennings will join first-round pick DeVante Parker, whom the Dolphins selected with the 14th pick in the draft a week after they signed Jennings.

The receiver, who is 31, will live in Miami while his family stays back in Minnesota.

"That's the nature of our business, but home is home," he said. "[The Dolphins] were very open. It was great."

The Vikings signed Jennings to a five-year, $45 million contract in March 2013, but had two underwhelming seasons with the Vikings, playing with four different starting quarterbacks and catching 127 passes for 1,546 yards and 10 touchdowns in two seasons.

Minnesota released Jennings after acquiring Mike Wallace from the Dolphins in March, once the two sides could not come to an agreement on a restructured contract. Jennings said he had a sense at the end of last season his time in Minnesota might be almost up.

"You just know when things are shifting, and I remember telling my wife, even during the season, 'Babe, I don't think this is going to work out next year,' " he said. "In my dealings with people, you have that sense of, 'I'm doing everything they want me to do, yet it's still not meshing.' When that's happening, you kind of know. It wasn't a surprise, and obviously everybody will have their own opinions of what they think. But I embrace it."