The rumors continue to fly around the National Football League and the Green Bay Packers are far from immune to them as this morning it’s being reported that former Packer Cullen Jenkins would be open to a return to his former team.
Jenkins was released by the Philadelphia Eagles a couple of weeks ago in a salary cap money-saving move and has been traversing league cities in search of a new home.
The 32-year-old defensive lineman’s agent, Brian Levy, told the Green Bay Press Gazette that Jenkins would consider a return to his former team.
“He wants to go where he’s going to get an opportunity to play and be a part of a team that has a chance to compete for the Super Bowl,” Levy is reported as saying in today’s published report. “I think Green Bay provides him with both those opportunities. Plus he’s been there — I don’t think he wanted to leave in the first place.”
Since being released from the Eagles, Jenkins has visited with the New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, but no contracts have yet been offered or accepted.
Jenkins was an instrumental cog in the Packers’ defensive team that helped lead them to their Super Bowl win in 2010, but left following that season after the Packers refused to offer him the lucrative contract he received from Philly. In his two seasons with the Eagles, Jenkins was productive, racking up 9.5 sacks.
However, since Jenkins was cut loose, the Packers haven’t made any attempts to contact Jenkins, making everyone think they had no interest. Levy thinks differently, telling the Press Gazette that he feels many teams, including the Packers, might be waiting for the market for defensive linemen to shake out.
The Packers had former New York Giant Chris Canty in for a visit Thursday, but Canty left Green Bay without a contract offer. His agent said he was planning to call the Packers to talk money today, Friday. Reports have the Tennessee Titans as the only team to have offered Canty a contract after his visit there last week. Canty has also visited with the Kansas City Chiefs.
With the new free agency rules allowing agents and teams to start talking this weekend, there will be more rumors and activity starting Saturday and that may be when the Packers jump into the Jenkins’ sweepstakes.
However, like Canty, Jenkins is free to sign a contract at any time because they were released by their teams.
“A lot of teams are scared to get out there and put a number out that might be too high for the market,” Levy said. “Maybe they can save money, and maybe they’re scared they’re misinterpreting the market,” Levey told the Press Gazette.
We will stay abreast of any Packers movement toward Jenkins and Canty as teams begin to amp up their free agent moves – though we know the Packers have shied away from signing veteran players. It may be a different Ted Thompson we see this free agency period. Just the fact that the Packers brought Canty in for a visit signals something a bit different.
So, should the Packers conclave show any smoke, we’ll be there.