It’s been a rough offseason for Dallas Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins. When the team decided to sign free agent Brandon Carr, Jenkins wasn’t exactly shy about letting his feelings on the move known.
After the team moved up in the draft to select the top-rated corner in the draft in Morris Claiborne, Jenkins reportedly requested a trade, despite the statement from team owner Jerry Jones that he wanted to sign Jenkins to a multi-year deal.
But despite all of this, it is being widely speculated this morning that Jenkins, even after skipping the optional organized team activities, would indeed be showing up to Cowboys mini-camp this week.
This has surprised plenty of people, including local Dallas media, who figured that the disgruntled corner would hold out of mini-camp to add pressure in making a deal. There has reportedly been interest from several teams interested in making a swap, the loudest coming from Indianapolis. But no deal appears to be imminent.
Even though he won’t participate due to coming off of offseason shoulder surgery, Jenkins has surprised a lot of people with this move. I say more power to him. You’re still under contract and you need to honor that, which he seems to be doing. But it does kill a lot of his leverage if his desire is truly to be moved.
By showing up to mini-camp, any pressure on the team to move him has evaporated. He’s young, talented and very cheap (base salary of $1.052 million in 2012). All of these qualities make the team likely to keep him around, regardless of his lack of desire to be the third cornerback going forward.
So will he still be traded? Not if you ask Jerry Jones.
“We know that we’ve got a situation where we can identify what we are on defense by having three corners in there a lot I see short-term and long-term with Jenkins. We’ve also got Orlando Scandrick, we got some room if somebody gets nicked not to have to adjust. We can come out there and spend some time really utilizing where we are at corner. The decision to bring Claiborne in was a big part of that. There’s no interest on my part at all of trading Jenkins. None.”
It sounds to me like you’re going to be keeping that silver star on your helmet for at least one more year, Mr. Jenkins. Now is the part where his agent gets to earn his paycheck.
All that Jenkins can do is go out there, play well, and hope to hit the jackpot in free agency after the season. In 2011, Jenkins was tied for the team lead with 10 pass breakups and finished with one interception in an injury-riddled season that saw him battle knee, neck and shoulder injuries. Improve upon that and everything will work itself out.