|Free Agent Snapshot: Cullen Jenkins||05.08.11 at 12:34 am ET|
Despite the labor uncertainty, WEEI.com will continue present a list of 10 possible fits for the Patriots in free agency (under the old Collective Bargaining Agreement) this offseason.
Position: Defensive end/defensive tackle
Like Matt Roth — another free-agent possibility for the Patriots who was discussed in this space yesterday — the little brother of defensive tackle Kris Jenkins is not a particularly overwhelming pass rusher, but is the sort of defender who is a veteran of the 3-4. He has 29 career sacks in seven seasons, including a career-best seven last season.
In addition, after seven years in Green Bay, the Central Michigan product is ready to move on — he told ESPNMilwaukee.com earlier this month that he would have taken a hometown discount to return to the Packers, but that ship has sailed, saying, “I know how they handle business, and the thought was if we could get something reasonable worked out, I knew I would take less than what I could’ve gotten in free agency. But they never approached me with anything and never got any type of negotiations going. It’s just how the business is. They had a lot of younger guys and felt they could move forward in that direction.”
Why it might not work: He’s been slowed by some nagging injuries the last few years — he missed five games last season with a bad hamstring and broken hand. In addition, he missed 12 games in 2008 with a torn pectoral muscle. (Of course, despite all of that, he had career-best numbers last year, so that might not matter a whole lot in the long run.) He is 30 years old, and going long-term for a player at that age might be something of a dicey situation. And if the old rules apply, Jenkins figures to be one of the pricier pickups in free agency. He had a career-best year this past season with the Super Bowl champs — his stock will never be higher than it is right now. Probably not an ideal time to invest.
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