Since Rashad Jennings was released back in February—a move that saved the New York Giants $3 million in cap space—all has been quiet about his future in the NFL. He took a break from chasing another NFL contract by spending a season on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” the reality show dancing competition. Jennings was actually declared the winner for Season 24, but it didn’t change his status in the NFL. He was still a free agent.
But Jennings spoke to SiriusXM NFL Radio on Thursday and it made it sound like a there are teams interested in his services, and the Detroit Lions were on his shortlist:
FA RB @RashadJennings: It is a wait and process for me right now. Simple conversations with #Lions, #Packers, #Ravens, #Rams, & #Dolphins.— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) July 20, 2017
It’s unclear whether his conversation with Detroit was before or after the Lions signed Matt Asiata back in May. Asiata and Jennings have a similar power back running style, so if conversations began before Asiata was added, the Lions may have moved on already. However, if Jennings has been in recent talks with Detroit, it could be a sign that they are not satisfied with their current set of backs.
Jennings told Sirius XM that he believes there is still a place for him in the NFL but at age 32, it may be tough for him to convince teams of that. Last year Jennings ran for just 593 yards (3.3 yards per carry) in 13 game appearance. However, back in 2015, he had his best career year, totaling 863 rushing yards (4.4 YPC) as the Giants starter for all 16 games.
The Lions could use a reliable power back and Jennings has the veteran savvy to fill that role. Not only has he proven to be a capable short-yardage back in his career, but he can also be a consistent pass blocker.
RB Rashad Jennings remains a free agent despite posting the best pass-blocking efficiency at his position in 2016. pic.twitter.com/4KqToSGoep— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 13, 2017
The question is whether Jennings still has it at his age. Back in February, our own Mike Payton listed Jennings as one of five free agents the Lions should “Just Say No” to because “He’s never rushed for more than 853 yards in a season, and he will be playing on his fourth team in 2017.”
For now, it seems like even if the Lions are still in conversations with Jennings, they are still in the preliminary stages. A signing doesn’t seem imminent, but if the injury bug hits the Lions during training camp, don’t be surprised to see Jennings’ name pop up again.