One of the names mentioned most often by Kansas City Chiefs fans in terms of a potential addition is Janoris Jenkins. How realistic is that move?
Every year, the NFL Draft brings in hundreds of new prospects to fill the jobs that will be vacated by numerous veterans. It’s part of the annual turnover experienced in the league each year, and this year will be no different.
In 2019, the New York Giants brought in a significant number of impressive young defensive backs, a group anchored by cornerback DeAndre Baker from Georgia. Due to the amount of promising young talent on the roster, the job security of veteran corner Janoris Jenkins has been called into question.
These sorts of potential releases have provided plenty of offseason talking points for Kansas City Chiefs fans and analysts alike. As the team searches for answers, in particular at cornerback, the idea of adding Jenkins has come up several times on Chiefs Twitter, yet so far, the Giants are holding onto the 30-year-old.
We recently asked Ed Valentine, editor of Big Blue View, to provide us with some perspective on Jenkins’ place on the Giants, what some potential trade terms might equal, and how the cornerback might fit with Steve Spagnuolo once again.
There’s a sentiment that Janoris Jenkins could be pried loose or even released by the Giants given the investment in defensive backs in the draft. Just how real is any possibility of an outright release happening before the season?
Answering that question is kinda weird. Here’s the thing: I’m shocked, no make that SHOCKED that Jenkins is still a Giant. He was suspended for not showing up and had his effort questioned when he did show up during Ben McAdoo’s final year in 2017. Every other highly-priced Giant who caused even a tiny bit of trouble before Dave Gettleman became GM is long gone, and I figured when the housecleaning/culture change began that Jenkins would be one of the first guys swept out the door. He’s still there, and while I see the logic behind why people believe the Giants could move on, I would now be shocked if it happened before the season.
The Giants have five corners who have never played an NFL snap: Sam Beal, Julian Love, Corey Ballentine, Hen’re Toliver and DeAndre Baker. They have a second-year guy in Grant Haley, a UDFA who started last season on the practice squad. The only other guys with any real NFL experience are Tony Lippett and Antonio Hamilton, and I’m not sure you actually want either of them on the field.
Somebody who has proven they can cover an NFL wide receiver has to be playing, and Jenkins is really about it. Now, do I think Jenkins has a long-term future with the Giants? Nope. I can’t see him being kept beyond this season. If Beal and Baker prove they can play out on the outside, I could even see the Giants listening to offers before the trade deadline.
If the Giants were to trade Jenkins, what do you think a likely return would be on that?
That picks up on my last point. Fans go crazy when they see that players get traded for what they consider less than market value, but that’s how it works in the NFL. Jenkins is a 30-year-old corner with a $14.75 million cap hit this year and in 2020. Nobody is giving up a Day 1 or Day 2 pick to take that on. The Giants got a fifth-round pick for Damon Harrison, a better player than Jenkins, a year ago. They would probably be thrilled to get that for Jenkins—if they were to put him on the market.
In terms of expectations for Jenkins on the field in 2019, how effective would be be back in Spagnuolo’s defense?
I love Steve Spagnuolo. Just let me start there. Spags has an up-and-down resume with some big-time successes and some monumental flops on it, but he’s a terrific coach. He’s been dealt some really bad hands during his career, but when he has personnel to work with, he know what to do with it. Besides which, he’s a terrific man. I have no idea how well his defense will do in Kansas City, but I hope it kicks butt. Unless the Chiefs somehow meet the Giants in the Super Bowl.
As for your question, I’m not sure the defensive coordinator matters that much to Jenkins. Two things really matter. Does he trust the players around him, and is the team good enough that he stays interested and invested? If the answers to those questions are “yes,” he’s a heckuva player. If the answers are “no,” he’s probably not a guy you want around.
Many thanks to Ed Valentine for answering our questions!