Pouting. That is what Mike Jenkins is doing. For a grown man, and a professional, this is unacceptable, but what are the Cowboys to do? How much is Mike Jenkins worth to us and what are our options? Read more below:
Last year, the Dallas Cowboys secondary was atrocious. Although Jenkins was the best CB for the Cowboys (according to Pro Football Focus), it’s like picking which steaming pile of feces smells the best. This offseason, Jerry & Co. have shored up the weakest link from last year. In the beginning of free agency, the Dallas Cowboys signed veteran CB Brandon Carr to a 5 year, $50 million contract. He was expected to replace a recently released Terrence Newman, who was the biggest pile of feces last year.
Jerry & Co. surprised us again in the first half hour of the NFL draft. Pulling off one of the best trades in recent memory, the Cowboys picked up the #1 defense player on many teams draft boards, Morris Claiborne. Suddenly, the CB core of the Dallas Cowboys became extremely crowded with talent.
Rumors had it that the Cowboys were shopping Mike Jenkins for a trade, but at that point, they had lost all negotiating power because teams knew the Cowboys didn’t necessarily need Jenkins. With Claiborne and Carr penciled in as the starting CB tandem, Jenkins has decided to avoid the voluntary workouts at Valley Ranch and pout in South Florida where he is “rehabbing” his surgically repaired shoulder.
His actions here are lose-lose. Not only is he not receiving treatment and specialized work outs from six-time Super Bowl champion Mike Woicek, but he is missing out on team building, and he is showing future teams that he is not a team player.
Although these workouts and OTA’s (that started yesterday) are “voluntary”, that is said with a wink. The hard truth for Mike Jenkins is that he needs the Cowboys more than the Cowboys need him. With two top-notch starting CB’s in Carr and Claiborne, and starting slot CB in Scandrick, having a 4th starting quality corner is a luxury, not a need. Jenkins can pout all he wants, but he is only hurting his own chances on a big payday next year.
The Cowboys will not trade Jenkins unless the price is right. Anything less than a 2nd rounder might not bode well, especially considering Jenkins is still young, and only counts approximately $1million against the cap this year. At the very worst, when Jenkins leaves in free agency next year, the Cowboys will be awarded a 4th round compensatory selection.
If Jenkins pouts the entire year and doesn’t perform, then he isn’t going to be getting a $10 million per year contract, and might be somewhere in the range of $5-6 million. The best thing that Jenkins can do both for the Cowboys, and for himself, is to show up for the workouts, OTA’s and show that he is a team player. This improves his chances at being one of the most sought after Free Agents and will lead to a big payday.
So, Mike Jenkins, the ball is in your court. The Cowboys will move on with or without you. Suck it up and come to work. With four quality corners on the roster, you might even get a ring on your finger.