Greg Jennings was signed by the Dolphins this off-season to reportedly be a "veteran presence" in the locker room and a mentor for the other young wide receivers on the team. Jennings was of course set free this off season and then replaced on his former team, the Minnesota Vikings with a wide out released by the Dolphins, Mike Wallace. Both players, while swapping teams, might now be in a better situation for themselves individually. Neither seemed to fit the system that they were playing in as well as they might otherwise with a different team running a different system.
Wallace, for all of his talent and his ability, especially his ability to take the top off of defenses, may have been an ill fit for the current Dolphins offense and most especially a poor match with our starting quarterback, Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill and Wallace together were most famous for not being able to hook up consistently on the deep ball. While some of the blame lands at the feet of Tannehill who at times seemed to just flat out miss Wallace, there were other times that were clearly on Wallace. Wallace also seemed to lack the ability to adjust to ball's in the air and often times would not "fight" for the ball when a pass was well defended. The latter of course gaining him much scorn from the fan base at times.
Miami partially tried to address this issue by drafting a more "Tannehill friendly" wide-out in DeVante Parker. Parker is a big strong wide out more known for going up and getting/fighting for the ball and having a huge catch radius. Unlike Wallace he has shown the ability to adjust to a ball that is not perfectly thrown and still come down with the catch. Parker, at least in practices without pads, appeared to already be a great combo with Tannehill, seemingly catching everything thrown in his direct. The big concern surrounding Parker is of course that he will miss most of if not all of training camp. If he were a seasoned vet this would be of little concern but these camps are vital for rookies, if for no other reason then to get down an offense that is likely different and more complicated than any system they had seen at the college level.
Miami of course still has Jarvis Landry who while flashing last season seems more suited for a starting position at the slot and not as the lead wide out on the team. Landry has worked hard to improve his game all around this off-season, including playing the outside positions but it has yet to be seen where the team intends to use him during the season. The Dolphins also traded for Kenny Stills who was partially signed to replace Wallace and his speed. Stills has a legit shot at being the lead wide out for the team given his 931 yard season in 2014 but he put up most of those yards while not being considered the primary or in most cases even the secondary target while playing for the New Orleans Saints.
This brings us back to Jennings. Thus far, in all of the mini camps the reports coming from most of the media is that Greg has been by far the most impressive wide receiver this off-season. Said of Jenning by former Dolphins wide receiver OJ McDuffie "I thought Greg Jennings would be more a role player out there for this team, but through the off-season program he's been a superstar out there for us. He's catching everything thrown his way, is able to run every route and get deep, and can play all of the different wide-out positions.". Jennings of course is returning to a system that he is more comfortable with and a coach that he has a great familiarity with in Joe Philbin.
Jennings, after being released by the Vikings and despite visiting with the Dolphins did not envision South Florida being his landing spot for the 2015. Only after a discussion with Dolphins VP of football operations, Mike Tannenbaum, did Greg feel comfortable signing a two year, 8 million dollar deal with the Dolphins. No one knows for sure what concerns were cleared up but Jennings said of the conversation "There were just a few things that I had wanted to share with him personally because everybody has a pitch. Everybody has an angle". Jennings went on to say "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.".
Is it possible that a move, the signing of Greg Jennings, that many Dolphins fans paid little notice to will actually turn out being one of their better moves of the off-season? In a season with many big moves by Miami is this one that we, the fan base, will look back on and think "What a great move by the team"? Will Jennings be the lead receiver for this team this season? It now seems as if the possibility is becoming more likely.