The Bears released veteran cornerback Tim Jennings earlier today, a move that sent a fairly high-profile name out on to the free agent market somewhat unexpectedly. The move doesn’t come totally out of nowhere, and Jennings was the at the back on the depth chart in the third preseason game despite starting in the first two.
Still, with his large contract and penchant for big plays, seeing him hit the free agent market has gotten the attention of the league, or more accurately the league’s beat writers and Twitter followers.
Here are some reactions to the release, including some confusion about his contract status:
- Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com was initially confused over the release, due to the nature of Jennings’ contract. He believed his salary was guaranteed for the year (via Twitter). He looked to see if the guarantee was only for injury (via Twitter), but eventually confirmed the Bears would not save any money by releasing him.
- Although he was only scheduled to make $4.4MM this season, he will count $6.75MM against the cap after being released, $1.5MM more than if he has made the team, according to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter).
- Field Yates of ESPN helped Fitzgerald by pointing out that there is offset language in Jennings’ contract, so the Bears will get some cap relief when he signs with a new team (via Twitter). Of course, that also incentivizes the player to sign for the minimum.
- Fitzgerald adds that this is another Phil Emery contract that backfired (via Twitter), and writes that even at the time the contract was great for Jennings (via Twitter).
- You can add Adam Caplan of ESPN to the list of people surprised by the timing of this release (via Twitter).
- In terms of landing spots, the Cowboys and Buccaneers are two obvious choices, picked out by Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports, among other (via Twitter). Jennings played in Lovie Smith’s defense in Chicago, and would fit in schematically for both teams who are in need of secondary help.