One of the biggest surprises emerging from the Bears' 2012 season was the emergence of Tim Jennings as one of the best cornerbacks in the league. He had nine interceptions, and to give you some context: In his first six years in the league, he had seven picks. Also in 2012, Jennings added 21 passes defended and his first defensive touchdown.
Though he allowed five touchdowns, according to Pro Football Focus quarterbacks who targeted the receiver Jennings was covering had a rating of 53.3, the sixth-best mark among all cornerbacks in the league.
Since he left Indianapolis for Chicago three seasons ago, Jennings has been rated as one of the top-15 cornerbacks in the NFL, but he was so good in 2012 that he earned his first Pro Bowl berth. In the process, according to the Chicago Tribune, he's also earned himself a nice little raise.
The newspaper writes that when Jennings signed a two-year deal last March, it included a $1 million escalator that would increase his base salary to $4.25 million. That escalator was based on playing time, and clearly, Jennings passed whatever bar had been set. For the record, if he didn't hit that mark, the Bears could have reduced his salary by as much as $1.6 million.
But considering Jennings -- who also can collect $350,000 in bonuses -- played 84.3 percent of his team's defensive snaps, the latter scenario would not have been a worry.
So, a pretty good pay raise for Jennings. Not surprisingly, Jennings' breakout season made his mother awfully proud.
“Before the season started, I prayed about this,” Geneva B. Addison-Jennings recently told the Orangeburg (S.C.) Times and Democrat. “I said ‘Lord, whatever you have for my son, bless him. I would love to go to the Super Bowl if it's meant for you to have us go to the Super Bowl. If not, let us go to the Pro Bowl.'”
“Before the season started, I told Tim, ‘This is your season, honey.' He said, ‘Mama, how do you know that?' I said, ‘This is your season because I already prayed to the Lord and asked the Lord to grant it to you. This is your season and all I want you to do is to be humble.' ”
Now, Jennings can be humble with a little bit of extra money in his pocket.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Josh Katzowitz on Twitter here: @joshkatzowitz.