In two season, the New York Giants have seen two versions of Janoris Jenkins.
In 2016, they saw a shut-down, Pro Bowl corner who looked for all the world like a guy who was worth the five-year, $62.5 million ($28.8 million guaranteed) contract the Giants gave him in free agency.
In 2017, saw a guy who didn’t play as well, had his effort questioned and served a suspension after failing to show up on time or notify the Giants of his whereabouts when players were expected to return from bye week time off.
Jenkins, of course, much prefers to be called ‘Jackrabbit.’ So, which Jackrabbit will the Giants get in 2018? Let’s take a closer look as we continue our player-by-player look at the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp.
2017 season in review
Jenkins played in only nine games. He missed a Week 2 game against the Detroit Lions with an ankle injury, and that apparently never healed completely. Eventually, unable to drive on the ball or really make the quick changes of direction needed he was placed on injured reserve and underwent surgery.
“I came into it [the season] with it, but I didn’t let anybody know until it got worse,” Jenkins said in April.
Jenkins was perhaps not as toxic or as difficult with teammates as Eli Apple last season, but he wasn’t exactly a beacon of professionalism.
He got suspended for a week when he neither bothered to show up when the Giants returned from their bye nor bothered to let anyone know his whereabouts.
When Jenkins returned, he had his effort questioned — rightly — on this awful play in a loss to the previously 0-9 San Francisco 49ers.
Zero effort from Janoris Jenkins. Zero. pic.twitter.com/H7M5B0VL9L— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) November 12, 2017
2018 season outlook
During that chat with media in April, Jenkins seemed optimistic, ready to turn the page on the misery of 2017.
“I promise y’all that Jackrabbit says it won’t happen this year what happened last year,” he said. “There won’t be any animosity between players, no disrespecting the coach. There will be none of that. New York Giant football is back.
“It’s a fresh start for everybody. We’ve got a new coaching staff, new general manager and everybody is clean. You just come in with positive energy, focused and ready to go.”
Jenkins has seemed to do just that. He has had a good spring. He looks healthy, and he is undoubtedly happy?
Does he like the new defense?
“I love it. It is an aggressive defense. Coach (Bettcher) is doing a good job,” Jenkins said during mini-camp.
What about new defensive coordinator James Berttcher?
“I love him,” Jackrabbit said. “He understands the game, is an aggressive play caller and understands the way his guys play.”
A happy, healthy Jackrabbit would seem to have a good chance to return to 2016 form, and that is undoubtedly good news for the Giants.