Jets' Longest-Tenured Player Reportedly Departs in Free Agency

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Jordan Jenkins had been with the Jets for each of the last five seasons. He's been through five losing campaigns, recently experiencing this franchise's third coaching change in that span.

Now, the linebacker is saying goodbye to Gang Green in free agency. It's the end of an era in New York.

Jenkins has reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with the Houston Texans, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. 

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network added that the contract is worth $6 million, with a chance to reach $8 million. 

Moments after news of the signing began circulating on social media, Jenkins posted his own message to the Jets and New York's fan base on Twitter.

"Put it all out there on the field during my time with the Jets, battle through torn labrums, bruised ribs, etc," he wrote. "Will always be thankful for the Jets for drafting me. Excited to start this new chapter in life."

Jenkins, 26, played in 72 games with the Jets. His final totals in green and white include 189 tackles, 22.5 sacks, 25 tackles for loss, seven forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. 

The outside linebacker battled some injuries in 2020, appearing in only 12 games. That was the least he had played in a single season through his entire tenure with New York, a testament to his durability and dedication to play through minor injuries.

Before he was fired at the end of the season, former head coach Adam Gase spoke about Jenkins' grit when he was forced to place the linebacker on injured reserve.

"You can imagine what kind of pain he must be in and issues he's having for him to finally say, 'okay, it's probably the right move to do,'" Gase told reporters in December.

Gase went on to call Jenkins "as tough as they come."

Jenkins' departure also officially washes away the Jets' 2016 draft class. Jenkins was taken out of Georgia in the third round, a class that included quarterback Christian Hackenberg and another linebacker, first-rounder Darron Lee.

With Jenkins gone, safety Marcus Maye takes over as this franchise's longest-tenured player. He arrived in the 2017 NFL draft, selected one round after former Jets safety Jamal Adams. 

Maye could sign a long-term extension with the club at some point this offseason. He was franchise tagged by New York, keeping him around for another season, giving both parties more time to negotiate. 

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