Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Closer look at free-agent DL Cullen Jenkins
By Mike Sando
Reports linking former Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins to Seattle and San Francisco invite a closer look at where the nine-year NFL veteran stands at age 32. Thanks for asking, @bmarleylives.
Jenkins has played about two-thirds of the available defensive snaps over the past five seasons. He has started at defensive tackle in the Eagles' 4-3 scheme and at defensive end in the Packers' 3-4.
The Eagles parted with Jenkins last month after deciding against paying a $5 million roster bonus for the 2013 season. Philadelphia has a new coaching staff. Jenkins is an older player. Five million dollars was too much for the Eagles even though Jenkins' base salary ($825,000) contributed to a seemingly palatable 2013 cap figure ($5.8 million). The team had renegotiated Jenkins' contract last offseason after signing him away from the Packers with a five-year deal in 2011.
Jenkins played for the Packers when Seahawks general manager John Schneider was with Green Bay. Seattle has decisions to make along its defensive line. Tackle Alan Branch can become a free agent. "Leo" end Chris Clemons is coming off ACL surgery. Base end Red Bryant is coming off a foot injury. Jenkins could provide insurance or a starting option at tackle. He could also provide insurance for Bryant's spot.
The 49ers also have decisions to make along their defensive line. End Justin Smith is coming off elbow/triceps surgery. Starting nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga and versatile backup Ricky Jean Francois can become a free agent.
Foot and ankle injuries slowed Jenkins at times last season. He still started all 16 games.
ESPN's Adam Schefter expects Jenkins to visit the 49ers and Seahawks next week. Jenkins has already met with the New York Giants.