MONDAY, 11:14am: The Buccaneers have made their deal with Jennings official, placing Demar Dotson on IR-DTR to make room on the roster, the team announced today. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), the deal is believed to be a minimum salary contract, since Jennings’ old deal with the Bears included offsets. A minimum salary pact leaves the Bears on the hook for more money.
THURSDAY, 8:36pm: The Buccaneers announced (via Twitter) that they have agreed to terms with cornerback Tim Jennings. Jennings met with Tampa Bay on Tuesday and two days later, he has a deal with the team.
Jennings signing with the Bucs isn’t a real surprise, considering his connection to Lovie Smith. Smith, the current head coach in Tampa Bay, was coaching in Chicago when the team brought Jennings aboard in 2010, and oversaw the cornerback’s first Pro Bowl season in 2012. The Bears released Jennings on Sunday.
A nine-year vet, Jennings signed with the Bears back in ’10 after spending the first four years of his career with the Colts. According to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required), Jennings posted a successful 2014 season, grading as the league’s No. 28 corner while playing more than 1,000 snaps. During his time in Chicago, Jennings, a Georgia alum, started all but six games, posting 16 interceptions during that span.
Jennings now joins a group of cornerbacks that includes Alterraun Verner, Johnthan Banks, Mike Jenkins, and Sterling Moore.