Greg Jennings: All-Pro Receiver Will Plummet without Elite QB

Josh BenjaminCorrespondent IFebruary 12, 2013

Dec 30, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA;  Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings (85) against the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Packers 37-34. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

Greg Jennings is most likely going to be on a team other than the Green Bay Packers next season, but there is one factor that the two-time Pro Bowler should keep in mind when choosing his next destination: Even if it means taking less money, he needs to ensure that he is on a team with an elite quarterback.

In seven NFL seasons, Jennings has been on the receiving end of passes from two quarterbacks: Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. As a result, he has accumulated 425 career catches for 6,537 yards and 53 touchdowns.

The man clearly does quite well when he has a solid arm getting him the ball. However, that may not be the case if certain chips fall into place.

ESPN's Bill Williamson speculates that if the Kansas City Chiefs are unable to bring back Dwayne Bowe then they will pursue Jennings. Williamson also suggests that head coach Andy Reid could look to bring in quarterback Nick Foles, whom he drafted when he was with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Regardless of whether Kansas City pursues Foles or not, one thing is certain: None of its quarterback options will help Jennings continue his successful run in the NFL. Nothing against Matt Cassel, but he is nowhere near in the same league as Favre or Rodgers.

The same type of argument can be made for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. He had an elite quarterback in Kurt Warner throwing to him for five seasons, and he caught 465 passes for 6,287 yards and 51 touchdowns over that stretch.

Once Warner retired in January 2010, Fitzgerald's numbers were not so affluent. He has caught a respectable 241 passes for 3,346 yards, but has had just 18 touchdown receptions.

It's not such a grand discrepancy, but is still something Jennings needs to consider when picking his next team.

Granted, if current rumors are true and Jennings reunites with former offensive coordinator Joe Philbin in Miami, he won't necessarily have a top quarterback throwing him passes. Ryan Tannehill is talented, but next season will be just his second in the NFL.

He would still be a better option than anyone in Kansas City, however, as the Chiefs' offensive line is hit-or-miss while Miami's is young but a bit stronger. Moreover, Tannehill has a higher ceiling than any of the quarterbacks the Chiefs are likely to start. Cassel has peaked, and neither Foles (should he be acquired) nor Ricky Stanzi has the experience necessary to run an offense for a team in a rebuilding phase.

Thus, when it comes to his free agency, Jennings needs to ensure that he is thinking beyond the dollar sign. He's picking a team that will rely on him to help carry them to success, and that's not going to happen unless he has a solid quarterback throwing to him.

Should he end up on a team without an elite signal-caller, it's going to be one long season as he figures out just how to make the best of the situation.