On the surface, the Bears cutting Tim Jennings didn’t make any sense, but it appears Jennings made it clear he was just as ready to move on, which led to the release.
Jennings was clearly a part of their plan in 2015, but maybe not as big of a part as he wanted. He doesn’t fit what Vic Fangio typically looks for in cornerbacks, but Jennings was the best he had. Jennings started the first two preseason games and took nearly every rep with the Number One defense throughout camp. He wasn’t getting cut, so…how did he get cut?
Most of what Jennings has said since the move doesn’t make sense. He said the team told him they wanted to go younger, even though they replaced him with a 30-year-old. He also said he saw the writing on the wall when the new regime came in, but they didn’t keep him as a starter this long with the idea that they were going to cut him.
In an interview with The Score, Jennings offered a few more clues as to what may have happened. Jennings said that moving on from the Bears was “kind of” his idea when he “seen things were starting to change around a lot.”
What kind of changes? For starters, Kyle Fuller was in Jennings’ usual left cornerback spot. We know the Bears had wanted to move Jennings into the slot earlier this offseason, but had backed off of that idea. Were they trying to move him to the right side now? That wasn’t answered, but Jennings did make it known that they were trying him in different spots and he didn’t like it.
“Once you started moving all over the place and they don’t know where they want to fit you at, it starts to become a headache for the player and the team and you don’t want that,” Jennings said.
So, what happened? A good bet is that the Bears wanted to try Fuller elsewhere, considering how much he had struggled on the right side. Jennings has been the Bears left corner for the last five years and didn’t want to play a new position along with the new scheme.
If Jennings was motivated and at his best, the Bears would be much worse without him. But, Jennings made when Jennings made it known he didn’t want to move around in their defense, they didn’t have much of a choice.
The Bears secondary was going to suck with or without Jennings. When he made it known he didn’t want to be there, they granted him his wish. At that point, it was in the best interest of both sides. That, in a nutshell, is how a starter gets released.