TEMPE, Ariz. -- Free agency is a never-ending carousel. Players come and go. They might even get lunch in the process.
The latest visitor to the Arizona Cardinals' Tempe practice facility is former Oakland Raiders cornerback Mike Jenkins, according to Kent Somers of AZCentral.com. Jenkins was in town Tuesday. General manager Steve Keim isn’t one to sit around and wait, so when a deal obviously wasn’t struck with Antonio Cromartie last week or over the weekend, Keim stole a line from his head coach, Bruce Arians: Next man up.
So, in came Jenkins, who made $1.5 million last season with the Raiders, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Last season he had 65 tackles and two interceptions in 15 games. According to Pro Football Focus, Jenkins had 22 stops and seven missed tackles for the Raiders.
He came to the Raiders after his tenure with Dallas, the team that drafted him, fizzled in 2012. His career peaked in 2010, a year after making his only Pro Bowl, but he started just two of 13 games in 2012.
With the Raiders, he had a resurgence.
He started all 15 games he played -- he missed one because of a concussion. Becoming a regular starter again proved beneficial for both the Raiders and Jenkins, who had 42 tackles on plays when between six and 10 yards were needed for a first down.
Jenkins is 28, Cromartie is 29 and Jerraud Powers, Arizona’s incumbent starter across from Patrick Peterson, is 26. While with the Raiders, Jenkins had 55 of his tackles from the left corner spot. Last season, Peterson floated to both sides of the field.
Cromartie’s future is still up in the air with multiple reports saying the New York Jets, his former team, are not actively trying to bring him back to the Big Apple. With that news coming out today, Cromartie’s meeting with the Cardinals can be viewed differently.
If a contract was not offered, was Arizona not sold on Cromartie’s hip, which hampered him all season? Were Cromartie’s salary demands too high?
Or if a contract was offered by the Cardinals, was it too low? He made $9.5 million last season for the Jets, but that range isn’t in the cards for Cromartie in Arizona, especially with the Cardinals preparing to make a run at re-signing Peterson.