Kris Jenkins totally unplugged

July, 25, 2011
7/25/11
7:39
PM ET
When Kris Jenkins announced his retirement last week, I wrote about how I liked that the former defensive tackle for the Panthers and the Jets always said what was on his mind.

Kris Jenkins
Brian Bahr/Getty ImagesKris Jenkins spoke his mind about the Carolina Panthers' fans, owner Jerry Richardson, receiver Steve Smith and former defensive end Julius Peppers among other topics on a Charlotte radio station.
Well, we’ve got an audio example of that. Jenkins did a radio interview with Charlotte’s WFNZ on Monday morning and, holding back absolutely nothing, revealed the real reason why he retired, reflected on his time with the Panthers and had some praise and criticism of former coaches and teammates.

Jenkins said he’s been in a custody battle for years. He said he currently has primary custody of his oldest son and feared that a return to football might clear the way for him to lose custody.

“I can get back on the field,’’ Jenkins said. “I don’t think that’s the issue. I’ve always said family comes first.’’

I urge you to listen to the interview in its entirety (and tell me Jenkins doesn’t have a future in broadcasting), but let’s run through a few of the highlights.

  • "How much time do we have?" – when asked if he was too outspoken for the John Fox regime.
  • "We just didn’t find a way to mesh." – on Fox.
  • "I got to the Jets and I said, 'Fox was full of it.'"
  • "When you’re out here, you’re a robot. That was the biggest thing." – on what he said was a corporate environment in Carolina.
  • "The fans here are wishy-washy sometimes." -- on Carolina fans.
  • "That was where it got past personal for me." – on his claim that team officials tried to tell him what he could and could not do on the field.
  • "I like Julius. Julius was not a people person. If you understood that about him, it saved you a whole lot of trouble with other stuff." – on former teammate Julius Peppers.
  • "You decided to be an owner." – on owner Jerry Richardson.
  • "With him, it was a love-hate relationship. There’s not a more passionate guy out there going out to play wide receiver." – on Steve Smith.
  • "He likes to pick on people that don’t deserve it." – more on Smith.
  • "You can’t beat the crap out of your teammates." – more on Smith.
  • "You’re dealing with hand puppet Mike Minter and you’re dealing with hand puppet Mike Rucker." – on two retired teammates, who Jenkins said were telling coaches and ownership about off-field behavior.
  • "What is wrong with what I did? Whether it’s Bank of America or Wachovia, and your boss starts throwing crap at you, you’re either going to take it or you’re going to stand up for yourself." – on why he wanted out of Carolina.
  • "Do not assume my brother and I have the same personality." – on if he’d tell his brother, Cullen, a free agent, not to sign with the Panthers.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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