Janoris Jenkins: High-Risk, High-Reward Upgrade Who’ll Be Fun To Watch
By Neal Lynch
Pro Football Focus called Janoris Jenkins a “high risk” signing for the New York Giants and the MOST puzzling move of Day 1 in NFL free agency. PFF probably went that route because they felt Janoris was the fourth best free agent cornerback on the market, behind Adam Jones, Casey Hayward, and Sean Smith.
But, take a closer look. Pacman has experienced more than his fair share of ups and downs and is going to be 33 years old. Casey Hayward has been viewed as more of a slot cornerback than a shutdown corner of ball-hawking playmaker. To me, the only other real option to come in and start opposite Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie, was Kansas City Chiefs corner Sean Smith.
Smith has accumulated a lower approximate value than Janoris Jenkins over the past three years, according to Pro Football Reference, and will turn 29 years old before the 2016 season starts whereas Jenkins will be 28 in October.
Bear Goggles On
PFF had this to say on the Jenkins signing:
"“Since Jenkins entered the league in 2012, only Buster Skrine (25) and Patrick Peterson (23) have surrendered more than Jenkins’ 22 touchdowns, while only four corners (Antonio Cromartie, Brandon Carr, Cary Williams and Tramon Williams) have allowed more plays of 20-plus yards than Jenkins (39). On the positive side, Jenkins will make big plays for his own team as well; his 10 career interceptions are tied for the 12th-most since he entered the league, and his 34 passes defensed are tied for the seventh-most.”"
"“…the price tag is far in excess of what Jenkins is worth. While Jenkins’ interceptions (10) and pass defenses (34) give the Giants a ballhawking pair of cornerbacks with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, his propensity for allowing big play (22 touchdowns, 39 plays of 20+ yards allowed) will ensure that the Giants are in plenty of shootouts again this year.”"
When news first broke that the Giants agreed to terms with Jenkins, fans and analysts alike were divided on the move. Some, like PFF, thought Big Blue gave the former Rams corner too much, that he would end up hurting the the G-Men with gambles more than he would help them. We even got a nice, “have fun with that” from a Rams fan on Twitter:
We will. More than we would with current free agent Prince Amukamara, who’s seeking $10 million per year despite missing half of his potential starts and whose career-high approximate value of 6 came in 2013. WalterFootball.com also ranked Janoris Jenkins as the second best free agent cornerback behind Josh Norman, who was franchised by the Carolina Panthers. After Jenkins rejected the Rams bid of 5 years $45 million, we asked if he was worth $13 million per year over the same amount of time. Ultimately, we thought so.
Cornerback was one of the 5 positions the Giants absolutely had to address, especially with the Prince’s injury history and contract demands and Jenkins has always been one of the top 10 free agents the G-Men should’ve targeted. All of a sudden, we’re supposed to second guess the acquisition? No way.