Cullen Jenkins visited with the New York Giants on Friday, but left the Meadowlands without a contract. According to a variety of reports, the nine-year veteran has interest from several other teams and will go on more visits next week.
If Jenkins were to circle back and ultimately decide to sign with the Giants, what kind of player would the Giants be getting? Ostensibly, Jenkins would be filling the hole created when the Giants cut veteran defensive tackle Chris Canty in a salary cap move.
I would say the prevailing wisdom on him is pretty much right. Getting older, but still effective. The main reason he got cut is because he was going to make $5.5m and there's really no place for a 32-year-old making that kind of money on a rebuilding team. If the team was evaluating strictly on performance, then I imagine he would have been kept around.
Still, based on what I saw last year I'm sure he can still be productive as a pass rusher. Even moreso if he was used in a more limited role. He was also one of the few guys on the Eagles defense last year willing to face the media, answer questions and at least accept some level of responsibility. That certainly ingratiated him to the fans where.
And your initial analysis was generally right. He's better as a pass rusher than as a run defender but with one caveat. He was not always used as an inside pass rusher here. Rather often, especially in the early part of the season, he was used as a defensive end. So those pressure numbers you see aren't all from the inside. I don't know that I'd go so far as to call him a "tweener," but he was certainly used that way.
Remember that he comes from playing as a 5 tech 3-4 DE for most of his career. It's only these past couple years he's been a 4-3 DT. Now that's not really a huge jump to make... but I do admit that I'm surprised to see a 4-3 team like the Giants taking a look at him. I would have expected much of his interest to come from 3-4 teams looking for a DE.
Thoughts. Giants' fans?