Anyone around here catch the recent news that Packers receiver extraordinaire Greg Jennings might not be long for Lambeau's frozen tundra? I came across it via NFL Network on Tuesday evening soon after the America's Game: 2011 New York Giants episode aired. The following is a transcription of what went through my mind upon hearing the Jennings rumor:
11:06 p.m. "No Jennings in Green Bay's offense? Wow. They must think Clay Matthews is going to cost a TON next offseason."
11:07 p.m. "I wonder which teams will jump headfirst into the Jennings sweepstakes if Green Bay chooses to move on from him. San Francisco, Detroit and New England make a lot of sense, though he'll probably want to play in an offense that resembles the Pack's.
11:09 p.m. "Wait a second, I have an offense that wants to ape everything Green Bay does on that side of the ball."
11:09 p.m. "Wait a second, I have his former offensive coordinator as head coach."
11:10 p.m. "Holy s***, the Dolphins might throw their hat in this thing ... But why would Jennings play for a lame duck team like the Dolphins just to hook up with his former O coordinator? Never mind, we have no chance of landing this guy."I thought about that last question all day long on Wednesday, eventually whittling the situation down to this: while the prospect of getting Jennings into an updated Dolphins uniform next season seems rather absurd on the surface, there are three related factors we know of right now ...
1) Of any NFL team, the Dolphins' would give Jennings the best opportunity to hop in and get to work without missing a beat.
2) NFL teams with franchise quarterbacks present a much more attractive destination for prospective free agents.
3) The Dolphins might have a franchise-caliber quarterback on the roster.
That third point is the ace of spades in all of this. The 2012 Miami Dolphins will suck, no doubt about it. But with an upstart quarterback in place and a boatload of draft picks lined up next spring, maybe this rebuild runs its course a hell of a lot sooner than anyone here expects. Maybe Ryan Tannehill battles all season long, wins some games, loses some games, gets his ass kicked in some games, and gets out of 2012 with primo starting experience under his belt. In this scenario, Tannehill is now your best FA recruiter--the guy whom other players will literally relocate for. In this scenario, Greg Jennings in Miami is an actual possibility, not a pipe dream.
Make no mistake, Jennings wouldn't be a magic bullet for the Dolphins' porous receiver corps, either. But with him on the roster, Miami's wideout group goes from a three to an eight. Bring in another quicksilver route-runner via the draft and suddenly the Dolphins' offense looks pretty stupendous.
And if you're Miami, your best hope (your "Obi-Wan Kenobi," if you will) is to see Philbin and Tannehill arise out of this season as two cornerstones upon which the Dolphins can build their future. If this happens, the Dolphins' chances of landing one of the NFL's best receivers increases exponentially. That's a big "if," but screw it. Let's dare to dream here.
Mmmm. Orange and aqua kool-aid ...