Sunday, March 10, 2013
Giants beef up defense with Jenkins
By Ohm Youngmisuk
The New York Giants might not be a big player in free agency due to their salary cap situation, but on Sunday night they made what could be a pretty big addition.
The Giants plugged a hole in the front line of their defense by reaching an agreement with defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins, a source confirmed. ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reports the Giants' deal with Jenkins is for three years and $8 million, with a $2 million signing bonus and $3 million guaranteed.
The Giants struggled to stop the run this past season. Jenkins' 6-foot-2, 305-pound frame should give Perry Fewell some beef and muscle inside to help a run defense that finished 25th in the league, allowing an average of 129.1 yards per game.
Jenkins, 32, is expected to take over for Chris Canty (who was released in February in a cost-cutting move) in the starting lineup alongside Linval Joseph. From a salary perspective, the Giants replaced Canty, who was going to make $6.25 million this season in base salary and had two years left before his release, with Jenkins' three-year, $8 million deal.
Cullen Jenkins stays in the NFC East, moving from the Eagles to the Giants.
The Giants reportedly had about $10 million in cap space prior to the Jenkins move. According to a source, Jenkins' cap charge for 2013 is $1.816 million. Still, the Giants might have to release a veteran or restructure more contracts this week to create cap space to keep some of their own free agents and tender their restricted free agents.
The Eagles released Jenkins in late February. Hehad 26 tackles and four sacks last season. The nine-year veteran has a total of 38.5 sacks since coming into the league with Green Bay in 2004, with 21 sacks over the past four seasons.
Make no mistake, this is a potentially big move for the Giants, since stopping the run was problematic. They didn't have to spend a ton to improve an area that needed an upgrade, and now they can focus on other areas of need in free agency and the draft.