He has been arguably the Bears’ single best defensive player this season, if for no other reason than given the injuries and performance issues that have beset so many of his teammates. While the myriad problems on defense portend a major personnel makeover for 2014, cornerback Tim Jennings hopes it doesn’t include him.
“I don’t want to keep moving around,” Jennings told CSNChicago.com. “I’ve got four, maybe five more [years], depending on how they take care of me.”
Some of that may depend on any changes that might be coming in the defensive scheme, which remained largely in place with the change from Lovie Smith’s staff to Marc Trestman’s with coordinator Mel Tucker.
“It depends on what they’re ultimately trying to do but you always want to keep your core guys together,” Jennings said. “You never know the route they want to go, maybe become more of a ‘man’ team, though.”
This season, Jennings has emerged as one of those “core guys.”
“I’d like to think so,” he said.
Jennings, who reached his first Pro Bowl last season and was among the leading vote-getters among corners in fan balloting this season, is expected to be an offseason priority, likely more so than Charles Tillman. The Bears and Tillman could not agree on terms of an extension last offseason and with Tillman on IR after dealing with injuries for most of the season, the Bears aren’t expected to be in a more giving organizational frame of mind than they were last time.
Jennings is second to only Seattle All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman in interceptions over the past two seasons, with 12 to Sherman’s 16, and no player has more than Jennings’ three interception returns for touchdowns. He has created six turnovers himself this season and was credited with four solo tackles in the Philadelphia game.