During NFL owners meetings last March, coach John Fox made something of an uncharacteristic public assessment of cornerback Tim Jennings. Fox, who dislikes criticizing players in pubic, allowed that Jennings had not had a particularly good 2014 season.
Jennings’ 2015 season just got even worse.
The veteran cornerback, who slipped from Pro Bowl status one year to zero interceptions the next, was among the first wave of cuts due no later than 3 p.m. on Tuesday. Jennings had been given a four-year contract extension that included $11.8 million guaranteed by former general manager Phil Emery following the 2013 season.
Jennings’ hold on a starting job was clearly tenuous from the outset of offseason work. After the Bears signed Alan Ball to a one-year contract worth $3 million, besides adding veteran corner Tracy Porter this offseason, Jennings’ best and perhaps only shot lay in moving inside as the nickel cornerback.
But against the Cincinnati Bengals, after starting the first two preseason games, Jennings plummeted on the depth chart as a parade of corners got looks ahead of him, beginning with Ball starting over him opposite Kyle Fuller.
Jennings has a guaranteed $4.4 million due this season, minus any offset for the amount he signs for with another team. But at 5-foot-8 and turning 32 in December, Jennings’ options will likely lie in teams needing to fill spots due to late injuries.