The New York Giants spent most of the offseason trying to acquire veteran free agents on minimum contracts. The exception was defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins. As we roll through our player-by-player look at the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp it is time to discuss Jenkins.
2012 Season In Review
Jenkins had 26 tackles, four sacks and a forced fumble for the disappointing Philadelphia Eagles before hitting the open market. The 32-year-old now has 38.5 career sacks from the defensive tackle position.
Jenkins, a nine-year veteran, was the Giants biggest free-agent acquisition, signing a three-year, $8 million contract as the Giants let Chris Canty leave via free agency and revamped the interior of their defense. As a pass-rusher, Jenkins will be counted on to take some of the pressure off defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka. Jenkins has been an average to below average run defender throughout his nine-year career, but withe Giants placing a heavy emphasis on improving vs. the run Jenkins will be counted on to play solidly in that aspect.
The performance of the rebuilding defensive tackle rotation will be critical to the success or failure of the Giants defense in 2013, and Jenkins shapes up as the most important new piece to that puzzle.