The Packers haven’t been able to replace Cullen Jenkins since he left 18 months ago. The Eagles cut the veteran defensive end on Monday. You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to connect the dots. And while I’m normally not a big fan of second acts in pro sports, this is one of the few that might be worth seeing.
Jenkins isn’t the player he was when he left Green Bay in the summer of 2011, but he’s still pretty good. I watched almost every snap he took for Philly this past season, and I never once thought he looked over the hill. He isn’t as explosive as he used to be and he tends to tire after about 30 snaps, but his effort is still impressive and he can still generate pressure up the middle. Even at age 31, the former Central Michigan standout got after the quarterback better than any d-lineman on the Packers roster.
Tom Silverstein seems to believe that Chris Canty is the preferred choice of general manager Ted Thompson, and he may be right. But I’d take Jenkins in a heartbeat. Not only will he come cheaper, but he’d bring much-needed energy to the field and leadership to a locker room that will be without Charles Woodson, Donald Driver and Jeff Saturday. And most importantly, I think Jenkins is a better football player. He puts forth more effort on a consistent basis and he’s a more dangerous inside pass rusher.
How much will it cost to ink Jenkins? That’s hard to say, but it won’t be expensive. He didn’t generate a ton of interest last time and had to settle for a fairly modest deal. Interest won’t be higher now, so it’s hard to imagine any contract being for more than a year or two and costing more than $2 or $3 million per.