Bears cornerback Tim Jennings made a mistake on Wednesday and he paid for it. But will he pay for it even more as the Bears look to regroup and rebuild this off-season?
Jennings, 31 was arrested in Gwinnett County, Ga., on charges of DUI, speeding and reckless driving Wednesday. He was admitted at 12:41 p.m. ET and was soon released at 3:41 p.m. on a bond of $2,711.
According to the Gwinnett County Police Department, Jennings was stopped by a police offer for speeding in a white 2015 Mercedes S63 AMG. He was going 99 MPH in a 65 MPH zone.
Jennings is coming off a 2014 season where he failed to record an interception for the first time since 2007 when he was with the Indianapolis Colts. The arrest was his second of his career, the first coming in 2006, his debut season in the NFL.
Starting all 16 games, he had 50 tackles, one forced fumble and seven pass breakups in 2014. He was weak in pass defense at times as the entire defense struggled, but he was steady in run support as always.
Jennings signed a four-year, $22.4 million contract extension last January and is set to make $5.2 million in 2015.
Yes, Jennings wasn’t consistent in 2014, but he is a veteran who plays hard and would be a solid second corner or nickelback if that situation arose.
The problem with disposing of Jennings is that the Bears are very thin at the cornerback position. Kyle Fuller will be entering his second season and outside of him and Jennings the Bears don’t have much.
Sherrick McManis a special teams standout is a free agent and hasn’t shown much defensively. Rookie Al Louis-Jean has potential, while second-year man Demontre Hurst does as well, but neither are steady options just yet.
Charles Tillman will be 34 next month and all indications point to his departure from the team and possibly from the game of football.
“We are aware of the reports regarding Tim Jennings’ arrest,” the Chicago Bears organization said in a statement on Wednesday. “We are currently gathering information to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the situation.”
Jennings will likely be handed a suspension of some sort from the league office from this silly mistake he made. However, he deserves a chance to be back on this team.
The entire Bears team was in disarray in 2014 and Mel Tucker’s defensive scheme and personnel failed to be reliable. Jennings is at his best when the entire defense is working and that’s something that has to be noted.
He is a solid athlete, but he is a system player. He bought into Lovie Smith’s Cover-2 defense when he arrived in Chicago in 2010 and he compiled 16 interceptions and five forced fumbles in total heading into 2014.
His best season came in 2012 when he had a career-high nine interceptions in 14 games.
Players make mistakes, but Jennings will learn from this and if the Bears were smart they wouldn’t overreact. They would keep Jennings in the mix and make this defense formidable once again.
With so many areas of need for the Bears getting rid of a starting cornerback would be a mistake. Linebacker, safety, defensive end, offensive line depth are all important areas where the Bears need to bolster their roster.
The secondary is thin. Just imagine if Jennings isn’t here in 2015 it would be that much worse.
At the very least let the new general manager and head coach have a talk with Jennings about his future with the team and how he’ll fit in.
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