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Jennings signs with Bears; Packers schedule 2 visits

Mar. 12, 2014
 
M.D. Jennings, a free-agent safety, has left the Green Bay Packers and signed with the Chicago Bears. File/Press-Gazette Media
M.D. Jennings, a free-agent safety, has left the Green Bay Packers and signed with the Chicago Bears. File/Press-Gazette Media

Both young safeties that competed for the Green Bay Packers’ starting job opposite Morgan Burnett last year are no longer with the team.

The Packers cut Jerron McMillian in the middle of last season, and didn't give M.D. Jennings a restricted free-agent tender offer earlier this week. Jennings signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears on Wednesday.

Jennings started all 16 games for the Packers last season, though their decision not to tender him was a clear sign that they didn’t expect him to be a starter this year even if they’d eventually re-signed him.

For now, the most likely candidate to start opposite Burnett is Micah Hyde, who’s expected to get an extensive look at safety after playing strictly as a cornerback last year as a rookie. The Packers also are a good bet to draft a safety this year and perhaps sign one in free agency.

It’s unclear whether the Bears signed Jennings as a possible starter at safety, or more as a backup and special-teams player.

The Packers also have set up visits with two free agents.

Defensive lineman Al Woods, who played with the Pittsburgh Steelers the last four years, will visit the Packers on Thursday. He was visiting Tennessee on Wednesday and will visit Arizona on Friday.

The 6-foot-4, 311-pound Woods, 26, had 16 tackles and two sacks for the Steelers last season. He's going into his fifth season.

Tight end Owen Daniels, cut last week by the Houston Texans, also is scheduled to visit the Packers. He played in college at Wisconsin.

The 6-3, 245-pound Daniels, 31, is going into his ninth season. He played in only five games last year, catching 24 passes for 252 yards, all career lows, and caught three touchdown passes.

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