Bears re-sign cornerback Tim Jennings to four-year deal
BY ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporter January 2, 2014 9:01PM
Updated: February 4, 2014 10:29AM
Re-signing cornerback Tim Jennings to a four-year contract was about one thing for general manager Phil Emery.
“[It’s] about rewarding excellence, and he has had that,” Emery said. “I can’t tell you enough about the energy he brings, the upbeat style.”
Jennings, 30, blossomed into a Pro Bowl player in his last four seasons with the Bears. It was a no-brainer: He had to be retained on a defense about to go through an overhaul. Since 2010, Jennings leads the Bears with 16 interceptions, tied for the fourth-most in that time frame.
Jennings said staying with the Bears was a fairly easy decision. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Chicago gave me an opportunity that teams wouldn’t when I was a free agent and decided to come here [in 2010],” said Jennings, who had four interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns, in 2013. “And just to see what they’re building around the defense — meaning to say, the offense, the special teams — I think we got a good chance here. I think it was a no-brainer just to know what they’re capable of doing on the offensive side. Now, we’ve got to do some things on the defensive side. So I wanted to be a part of that and be excited about what’s to come here.”
The Bears also couldn’t risk losing Jennings and cornerback Charles Tillman in free agency. Jennings said he wonders if he has played his last game with Tillman.
“All I know is that Peanut wants to win now,” said Jennings, who handled some of Tillman’s assignments after he suffered a triceps injury. “He’s going to weigh his options and make the best decision for him and his family.”
Jennings preferred to be “lost in the dark” when it came to negotiations. Emery said the Bears started with a little bit of back-and-forth with Jennings’ agent during the season.
“My agent did a great job of keeping me out of the loop,” Jennings said. “I just wanted to focus on football, focus on the year, continue to stay healthy and help this team win as much as I can. I’m blessed for it to happen the way it did and for me not having to see what was out there again.”