Greg Jennings does the Lambeau Leap. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Minnesota Vikings keep missing the mark with Green Bay Packers players

Greg Jennings left Green Bay for Minnesota. But for what reasons? We’ll never know.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph

By P.J. Root


Pillaging and plundering from shore to shore, taking without thought or purpose – the Minnesota Vikings – barbarians of a different code, take without remorse or accountability for what damage they reap. These attributes connect the Vikings of Norse legend to the business acumen of their Minnesota counterparts.

A flood of Green Bay Packers in recent memory have made their migration near the end of their careers to this aforementioned next door neighbor. Either by financial, personal or a combination of reasons, The Vikings have been a warm location to a cold enemy too frequently.

Why is that?

The story reaches into the psyche of the athlete and the lack of creativity from the Vikings front office.

The collapse of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome roof was a statement in itself.

Eden Prairie, Minn., has been the home of the wolf, of more aptly, Viking’s owner Zygi Wilf. In his practices associated in handling the franchise have created disdain far-reaching across the game.

The implosion of the Hubert H. Humphrey Dome in 2010 was not only an allegory to their final season burrowing a Packer legend, but an accumulation of questionable practices.

Sending private planes to Mississippi initiated a long list of problems. By providing a team with wants before needs, the management has retarded the progress needed to sustain future wins.

Percy Harvin is the prime example of this culture.

By bringing Favre to the Vikings in Harvin’s rookie season, the team shaped their playmaker into a problem child. In experiencing a QB with Hall of Fame ability, Harvin became entitled to a way of being treated.

Getting the ball early and often.

Zygi Wilf.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Yes, the migraines have been a problem, but combine a nagging health scare that could ultimately cut his career short and then reverting to a quarterback like Christian Ponder can warp an anxious mind.

According to Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports, two unnamed sources confirmed that the inner squabbles surrounding Harvin’s departure stemmed from his disapproval of Ponder.

The dissolving of the rank of coach and player had been tarnished, and unlike the minor revolution by Baltimore’s core players against their own coach, the Vikings did not have a stable foundation to rein in their players when it was most necessary.

Brad Childress (left) was on the bus to nowhere in Minnesota before being thrown under it.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Why should they think they could?

Randy Moss’s stint in 2010 and subsequent removal gave an immense look into the hierarchy of the Vikings brass. Brad Childress, sensing that Wilf’s culture was poisoning his team, cut Moss because of diva comments directed toward the catering staff.

Wilf, in response, threw his coach under the bus and ultimately fired Childress. The lingering stench of disarray has hung over the organization since.

Yes, the Vikings deserve credit for earning a playoff spot, but a team, which displayed such mediocrity in depth, especially in the QB department, deserves scrutiny.

With Ponder gone from injury in the game, the Vikings exposed themselves and their draft strategy in the form of Joe Webb and his inability to run the offense.

Peterson’s heroics can only do so much in a league dominated by the pass.

Greg Jennings is the next ex-Packer to arrive, and mortgage the Vikings future for the last ounce of greatness of an aging productive rival.

Rather than building from within like the Packers, the Vikings have incessantly sniped playmakers like safety Darren Sharper, to fill in their glaring blanks.

Examples of New York Yankee spending have been seen and crushed, with the Philadelphia Eagles continuing to mend their wings from the “Dream Team” saga that engulfed their franchise.

Vikings management continues the same routine, even as their own failures still linger in the minds of the Minnesota faithful.

Greg Jennings was a fan favorite in Green Bay.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Why do these players leave?

For Jennings the success acquired in Green Bay has solidified himself in Lambeau lore, yet the underlying circumstances have left many questions to the selection of location.

Was it from the comments of former Packer-turned-Viking kicker Ryan Longwell?

“Every town in America has an Applebee’s restaurant. In Green Bay, Applebee’s was about as fancy as you got.” Longwell began. “In Minnesota, I’m sure there will be plenty of options before Applebee’s comes into the rotation.”

OK, Green Bay is not the epicenter of the world, yet how many places are? Is not the offseason a time to unwind and travel? Milwaukee and Madison are only a hop away, and Chicago is just around the bend.

The origin in Jennings’ case was thought to be the relationship with Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers has been documented for being incredibly sensitive to criticism concerning his ability and personality.  Just watch at his recent “60 Minutes” interview and that comes to light.

“He’s sensitive. So you got to be careful what you say around him.” Jennings began. “He takes everything to heart,”

Now the comment itself was an observation by Jennings without judgment, but to display it for millions could make for an uncomfortable work environment.

Compound those comments with those made by Jennings’ sister on her Twitter account and the tension could be downright awkward.

“ARod is the most overrated QB in the league! He is nowhere near Peyton or Brady! It sickens me, Peyton would avg. 5 TD with this squad!!!”


“My God Aaron Rodgers holds the ball forever! GJ was wide open 5x for that touchdown! Goodness he acts like he doesn’t want to throw to him”

and then…..

“@GregJennings ball out so you can leave this team! They will miss u when your gone! It’s all good bye packers! Cheap team, can’t afford him”

Jennings immediately blanketed the fire by explaining that they were not his words or thoughts, but it truly makes one wonder how far they are from the truth.

For the entire off-season, Jennings had been adamant that he was all but finished with the team without a new contract, which make his siblings in-season tweets all the more relevant .

Why go to a team then that does not have a solid quarterback and only has the legs of Adrian Peterson to crank out victories?


If we had not been bombarded through enough Old Spice commercials, I might think the financial aspect was the cause.


For a season where Jennings only played eight games, his impact was immediate. Yet, there lies the rub. Jennings, the last two years, has started 21 of 32 games, and the old adage is that 90 percent of getting the job done is showing up.

Could have been from doing push-ups with a personal watercraft on his back.

Personality conflicts?

Percy Harvin’s attitude and inability to play nice bought him a ticket out of Minnesota.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph

This is where the most smoke rises, and from the comments from both himself and family very well could have created an uneasiness between the receiver and Super Bowl MVP.

Publically, Jennings has been a class act, and a great ambassador for the Packers, but to go to an unfriendly rival like the Vikings creates these questions.

Which ultimately allows the merry-go-round of Minnesota to continue to spin. Rather than having a multi-faceted game-breaker, the tracks had been set before the train and had left the Vikings with another artifact from Green Bay’s legacy

Would Harvin have stuck with the team that drafted him if they would have groomed him like a receiver similar to the Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald? Rather than coddling with impulsive personal moves, could Harvin have learned that players like Favre do not come with a price tag but with patience and a few ugly ducklings?

Whatever the case, the Vikings have put themselves in another situation invested in the here and now.  This bet is huge, but like any obsessive gambler, they need that one win to offset those losses.

We all know how that turns out.

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Tags: Green Bay Packers Greg Jennings Minnesota Vikings

  • Whitey Walker

    Vikings are a joke of a franchise.

  • Jake

    What the hell are babbling about? This article is so unfocused and meandering it’s tough to tell what your point is. Obviously I get the part where you’re still crying about Packers players leaving GB to play in MN. News flash, the Packers are cheap! They don’t like to sign their talented guys to big money, that means those guys are going to walk. Sometimes they end up in Minnesota. Quit crying about it already. And in case you forgot, GB management drove Favre out of town so quit acting like he asked to be released and in case you forgot even more of this tale, he played for the Jets before he came to Minnesota. You guys are sooooo butt hurt up there in GB, you must go through chapstick like crazy. Maybe it’s because the only thing to do there is go to Applebees.

    • Erich Klett

      The packers are cheap? Are you stupid? They have one of the highest payrolls every year. They are about to make Rodgers the highest paid player in the league and Matthews the highest paid LB in the league. What they don’t do is over-pay people when they are past their prime. That is when they let them go to second tier franchises like the Vikings. Furthermore look at their history. Reggie White was the first big money free agent in the NFL when he went to the Packers. Favre was the highest paid player in the NFL for a long time on the Packers. Also look at the money spent outside of players. The Packers are always doing stadium upgrades like a new score board and renovations to add seats or improve facilities. So who is the cheaper team, the Vikings or the Packers? Its not even a debate…

      • Jake

        So all of a sudden Jennings is past his prime? Was Longwell past his prime when he left? Was Sharper past his prime when he left? Favre certainly wasn’t past his prime when he left. No dude, the Packers have a problem paying their talent. Maybe it’s because they painted themselves into a corner with huge contracts for Rodgers and Mathews. Either way every one of those players left GB because GB didn’t want to pay them.

  • Franky

    Skol baby! Haters gonna hate!

  • Don Gore

    Sniping instead of building? I guess Matt Kalil, Harrison Smith, Blair Walsh, Adrian Peterson were all flukes, right? Go to Applebee’s and get the humble pie. You beat our backup QB in the playoffs, hater.

  • Steve

    I may be a Viking fan but this article lacks any discernible point. First off except for Favre, none of the former Packer players signed by the Vikings were past their prime. Second the Vikings are spending like the Yankees or the Eagles, really. One high profile signing in the last two years, Jennings who was an obvious need, constitutes high spending team. Since Spielman has taken over a GM the Vikings have shifted greatly from free agency to building through the draft. Living in North East Wisconsin I realize that it is not the hot spot of many metro areas, but if you are settling for Applebee’s in Green Bay you are not looking very hard.

  • Skolhorn82

    Only a Sconnie would put this much exhaustive effort into an article trashing a rival team. Hilarious. spend more time talking about how every other team sucks than how they like their own. Understand the more effort you put into trashing the vikings, the more pathetic you look to the vikings fans.

  • Brandon Bahling

    Vikes are smart by grabbing players that are within the NFC NORTH! Who doesnt want players on their team that know the ins and outs of the division??!! 6 games out of the year are being played against teams Jennings have faced since 2007!

  • Skolhorn82

    Yep, Vikings got a great price on a great player that can also bring some leadership and a positive attitude to the locker room. Meanwhile Packer fans furrow their brows with futility trying to figure out why anyone would want out of Green Bay, not realizing they just answered their own question. According to the author, the best thing about GB is it’s proximity to Milwaukee, Madison and Chicago.