Cullen Jenkins a good signing for Giants
March, 10, 2013
By Dan Graziano | ESPN.com
The New York Giants have agreed on a three-year, $8 million contract with former Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins. Per Adam Schefter, the deal includes a $2 million signing bonus and $3 million in guarantees. Jenkins was free to sign with any team in advance of Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET opening of the free-agency period because the Eagles cut him prior to the end of his contract. (The free agency that begins Tuesday is for players whose contracts expire at that time.)
But anyway, it's a good, smart, cheap pickup for the Giants, who need to add to the interior of their defensive line following last month's release of defensive tackle Chris Canty. Jenkins tailed off some in the second half of 2012, but overall he was a productive player in his two years in Philadelphia. Eagles fans won't miss him, but mainly because Eagles fans didn't like anything associated with the last two years in Philadelphia. As part of the kind of defensive line rotation the Giants like to use, Jenkins should be a helpful and versatile pass-rushing presence. He's got experience at defensive tackle and defensive end, and he's a well-liked, positive clubhouse influence who has a Super Bowl ring he won three years ago as a member of the Green Bay Packers.
The Giants continue to work on deals for several of their own unrestricted and restricted free agents, such as guard Kevin Boothe, tight end Martellus Bennett and of course wide receiver Victor Cruz, in advance of Tuesday's deadline. But the opportunity to add a player of Jenkins' credentials at a need position and at low cost was too good for them to pass up.
The news isn't bad for the Eagles, either. While they already had about $34 million in salary cap room and didn't need the help, they're now off the hook for the $1.5 million in guaranteed money that still remained on Jenkins' contract when they cut him. Per the offset language in Jenkins' Eagles deal, the Giants assumed responsibility for that money. I assume it's incorporated into this new contract.