MINNEAPOLIS -- Two years ago, the Minnesota Vikings signed wide receiver Greg Jennings four days after they missed out on Mike Wallace in free agency. A day after they finalized a deal for Wallace, their relationship with Jennings ended.
The Vikings released Jennings on Saturday afternoon, parting with the receiver after two underwhelming seasons in Minnesota. Jennings signed a five-year, $45 million deal with the Vikings in 2013, saying he wanted a fresh start after playing his first seven seasons with the Green Bay Packers. But after playing with four different starting quarterbacks, Jennings caught just 127 passes for 1,546 yards and 10 touchdowns in two years in Minnesota.
By releasing him, the Vikings saved at least $5 million against their 2015 salary cap. If they released Jennings with a post-June 1 designation, they would reap $9 million in cap savings this year, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Jennings' abbreviated tenure in Minnesota began with a spat with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, whom Jennings refused to mention by name in a series of interviews. The receiver called Rodgers "12" and "the guy they have now" when asked to compare playing with Rodgers and Brett Favre and later lobbed criticism at Rodgers in an interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Jennings later apologized publicly for the comments, and the two shared a lengthy embrace after Jennings' first game against his former team.
After the Vikings acquired Wallace in exchange for a fifth-round pick Friday evening, it seemed something had to give. Jennings and Wallace were scheduled to take up a combined $20 million in cap space, with Jennings set to turn 32 in September. According to a league source, the Vikings approached Jennings about restructuring his contract, but the sides weren't able to work out a deal.
The wide receiver was the team's nominee for the 2015 Ed Block Courage Award, which he was scheduled to receive Tuesday for his work with the community. Jennings had built a house in the Twin Cities area and talked regularly about how much he and his family loved the area, saying he was planning to live in Minnesota after he retired.