- Mike DiRocco, ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars are still searching for a slot receiver and they have perhaps the best option remaining among free agents in town Monday in former Green Bay and Minnesota receiver Greg Jennings. Pro Football Talk first reported the visit.
Jennings, who has 552 catches for 8,083 yards and 63 touchdowns in nine seasons, would give the Jaguars the veteran presence they need to go along with a talented group of second-year receivers. He also can still be productive and not just a mentor, having caught 127 passes for 1,546 yards and 10 touchdowns the past two seasons despite playing with an less-than-ideal quarterback situation (Matt Cassel/Christian Ponder/Josh Freeman mix) in 2013 and rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in 2014.
Jennings also has visited Carolina and Miami. Both teams offer him a significantly better chance of making a playoff run in the late stage of his career than the Jaguars, who have won just nine games in the past three seasons combined. However, the Jaguars have the most cap space available ($32.5 million) and that would allow them to win any potential bidding war between the teams.
During the NFL owners meetings last month, general manager David Caldwell said the Jaguars "probably would have some interest" in Jennings, so it's not a surprise they are having him in for a visit.
It won't be a big deal if the Jaguars don't sign Jennings, though, because they have essentially already added a veteran slot receiver in tight end Julius Thomas. He's not an inline tight end and will be working out of the slot and out wide anyway, so while he's technically a tight end, he is essentially a big receiver who creates matchup issues. Is he as quick and shifty as a typical slot receiver? Not at all, but he can work the short middle of the field as well as stretch the seam.
Thomas spent the past two seasons working with Peyton Manning and undoubtedly learned a few things he can pass on to second-year players Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns. Though there were some rumbles about his work ethic and dedication in his final months in Denver, Thomas went out to California and worked out with quarterback Blake Bortles and several other Jaguars players just weeks after signing with the team.
Jennings would be a valuable addition, but Caldwell said at his end-of-season news conference that while he would have liked to have had a veteran receiver on the roster in 2014 to help the three rookies, it's not something he believed the team absolutely needs in 2015.
The Jaguars are still searching for a slot receiver and they have perhaps the best option remaining among free agents in town Monday in Greg Jennings.