On Thursday night, while dozens of young players were battling for roster spots, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers added an accomplished veteran to the mix.
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During the third quarter of Thursday's preseason game at Miami, General Manager revealed that the team has agreed to terms with cornerback Tim Jennings, a nine-year veteran who rose to prominence in Chicago under then-Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith. The move is pending a physical, which should take place in the next few days.
Jennings adds accomplished depth to a position at which the Buccaneers have recently lacked experience behind the starters. The team returns starters Alterraun Verner and Johnthan Banks and now has Jennings, eighth-year veteran Mike Jenkins and 2015 free agency acquisition Sterling Moore to flesh out that crew. The timing of Jennings' arrival is particularly helpful, given that the team just waived/injured Leonard Johnson, it's primary nickel back the past two seasons.
Jennings began his career as a second-round draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 2006, where he played his first season under Defensive Backs Coach Leslie Frazier, now the Buccaneers' defensive coordinator. After four seasons and 21 starts with the Colts, Jennings signed with Smith's Bears in 2010, immediately becoming a regular starter. He played five seasons in Chicago, appearing in 78 games and starting 74.
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In 2012, Smith's final season in Chicago, Jennings emerged as a Pro Bowler after leading the NFL with nine interceptions and breaking up 21 passes. He was chosen to the all-star game again in 2013 after picking off four passes and returning two of them for touchdowns.
In all, Jennings has played in 131 NFL games with 95 starts and produced 383 tackles, eight forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and 78 passes defensed. He has intercepted 20 passes and returned them for 279 yards and three touchdowns. He was released by the Bears on August 30.
The Bucs have agreed to terms with CB Tim Jennings. Check out photos from his NFL career.