Is Janoris Jenkins Worth More Than $13 Million Per Year for 5 Years?
By Neal Lynch
Los Angeles Rams free agent cornerback Janoris Jenkins has rejected the team’s latest offer, a five-year contract worth $45 million. Prior to the 2012 season, Jenkins signed a 4-year, $4,990,139 contract including a $2,069,324 signing bonus, $2,939,324 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $1,247,535. Spotrac estimates his market value is five years, $46M – 52.6 million with an average salary of $9.2M – $10.5 million per year, and believes Jenkins should get an agreement similar to the players below:
Before the 2014 season, Talib signed a 6-year deal worth $57 million with the Denver Broncos. So far, so good. Talib has made the Pro Bowl the first two seasons of his Broncos contract, missing only two games, snatching seven interceptions and scoring four touchdowns.
Prior to last season, Flowers signed a 4-year deal worth $36,400,000 to return to the San Diego Chargers. Brandon had the worst season of his career accumulating an approximate value of 3 by knocking down four passes and failing to record an interception.
The Philadelphia Eagles signed Maxwell to a 6-year contract totaling $63 million in 2015. Byron ended up missing two games, but collecting a career-high 63 combined tackles, plus two interceptions and a fumble while forcing two others.
DRC was Big Blue’s big free agent acquisition before the 2014 season, signing a 5-year agreement worth $35 million. His first season as a Giant was average, but his sophomore campaign was good enough to sneak into the Pro Bowl as an alternate. So far, most Giants fans would agree that DRC is meeting expectations. With Prince banged up last season, most teams would target receivers away from DRC. If the G-Men find a consistent stalwart to complement DRC, you could see his numbers get even better.
Bear Goggles On
Getting back to Jenkins, the Rams corner had a true value rating of 61 according to Spotrac. He’s started 58 of 64 games and has 10 interceptions and 6 touchdowns to his credit over his four-year career. Pairing Jenkins with DRC would give the Giants one of the best CB tandems in the NFL. Just as I gave the green light on offering Miami Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon $13 million per year over five years, the Giants should also make a bid for Jenkins for at least $10 million per year over five seasons. How much more than $10 million is the big sticking point.
The Carolina Panthers applied the franchise tag to Josh Norman, so he’ll make almost $14 million in 2016. Jenkins’ teammate Trumaine Johnson received the franchise tag from L.A.; he’ll also make $13.952 million next season. Right now, New York Jets corner Darrelle Revis has the top salary cap hit among corners at $17 million, followed by Seattle Seahawks Richard Sherman at $14.7+ million. I doubt Jenkins will want that much, but he could use Trumaine’s tag to drive up his asking price to that $14 million ceiling. Considering Janoris will turn 28 during the 2016 season, that would put him at age 32 in the final year of his contract. Few corners can still play at such a high level at that point in their careers.
There are few playmaker options on the free agent market beyond Jenkins. Janoris was ranked #2 among corners by WalterFootball.com before Josh Norman was franchise tagged. The Giants could opt for a shorter contract with an older vet – someone in their late 20s or early 30s – or take a chance on an unproven cover guy in his mid-20s. The remaining top-ranked free agent corners are below:
- Leon Hall (31)
- Casey Hayward (26)
- Sean Smith (29)
- Brandon Boykin (26)
- Jeremy Lane (26)
If Jenkins goes above $14 million, I think the Giants are way less likely to make an offer. Sean Smith would be my plan B with Leon Hall at choice C. Jenkins must see the value in playing for the Giants, a team poised for a historic offseason and a deep playoff run.