Jennings Lands on His Feet Once Again

David Boclair

NASHVILLE – It’s official: Darius Jennings is not a cat.

In terms of his NFL career, he has more than nine lives.

The NFL’s best kickoff returner as a member of the Tennessee Titans not long ago, Jennings has been waived nine times by four different franchises over five seasons.

Now, he has his 10 opportunity. Agent Ed Wasielewski announced via Twitter on Saturday that Jennings signed a contract with the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers were 26 in the NFL last season in kickoff returns with an average of 20.7 yards. Their longest covered 43 yards.

This move takes him to a franchise in transition following the free agent departure of quarterback Philip Rivers, who signed with Indianapolis.

In 2018, Jennings averaged a franchise-record 31.7 yards per kickoff return, which led the NFL that season. He had a 94-yard return for a touchdown in the opener at Miami and had one of 30 yards or more in eight different games.

He remained the Titans’ primary kickoff returner for the first seven weeks of 2019 but was released and replaced by Kalif Raymond. He remained unsigned until late December when Tennessee brought him back to fill in for an injured Raymond.

He was scheduled to be a restricted free agent this offseason, but the Titans opted not to retain his rights via a tender, which made him an unrestricted free agent.

He broke into the NFL in 2015 as an undrafted free agent with Cleveland. He played four games for – and was waived four times by – the Browns over a season and a half. He spent time with Chicago and the New York Jets in 2016 and joined the Titans for the first time in May 2017.

“The mindset don’t change, you know what I’m saying?” Jennings said when he rejoined the Titans in December. “Stay ready. Be ready. Work out.”

For his career, he has 27 receptions for 237 yards, one rush for two yards and 38 kickoff returns for an average of 27.7 yards and one touchdown.