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Vikings Sign Wide Receiver Greg Jennings

jennings12s-1-webThe Minnesota Vikings signed free-agent wide receiver Greg Jennings to a five-year contract Friday, after he spent the last seven years with the Green Bay Packers.

The contract has a maximum value of $47.5 million, with $18 million guaranteed. Over the first three years of Jennings contract he is scheduled to make a minimum of $27 million, but could make as much as $28.5 million if he goes to the Pro Bowl, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson.

“I definitely wanted to know that they wanted me,” Jennings told ESPN.com. “I wanted to feel that they wanted me to be a part of what they are doing and a part of the future. And I got that feeling early and I got that feeling quite often.”

The 29-year-old Jennings was hindered by injuries during the 2012 season with the Packers, only allowing him to play in eight games because of a torn lower abdominal muscle. He finished the season with a career-low 366 yards receiving. In 2011, he missed three games with a sprained left knee.

But Jennings, who will turn 30 on Sept. 21, is confident that he can still be the same explosive and exciting player that he was earlier in his career.

Jennings will be an intricate part of the Vikings offense since the team traded Percy Harvin earlier in the week to the Seattle Seahawks, after the two sides were unable to come to an agreement about a long-term contract extension. There had been speculation that Harvin would sit out until an extension was reached.

“You can just get a sense that he [Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder] needed a little more around him to give him some help,” Jennings said. “Hopefully, I can help him a little bit.”

The two-time Pro Bowl pick will be the No.1 receiver for the Vikings and will be expected to provide leadership to current receivers Jerome Simpson and Jarius Wright.

However, Jennings must make a big transition between quarterbacks, leaving Aaron Rodgers for Ponder. Rodgers is one of the most consistent quarterbacks in the league, while Ponder has been inconsistent at times.

“I had to watch Christian,” Jennings said. “I had to see what I was [getting] myself into. Very athletic quarterback, obviously his upside, his future is bright. I saw a young guy that was maturing.”

Ponder said earlier this week that he was excited to have Jennings as a teammate and has admired his work ethic and leadership in Green Bay.

In Jennings’ eight seasons with the Packers, he had 425 receptions for 6,537 yards and 53 touchdowns. From 2008-10 he had over 1,000 yards receiving each year, which the Vikings are hopeful he can recreate in Minnesota.

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