Jackrabbit's release was expected in a cap-saving maneuver by the New Orleans Saints front office. We take a look at Janoris Jenkins' second season with the Saints and his performance in 2020.
A late-season addition to the New Orleans Saints back in 2019, NFL veteran defensive back Janoris Jenkins looked to be the long-awaited answer to who would play opposite Marshon Lattimore in the Saints secondary. In limited time a season ago, Jenkins made his presence felt coming up huge in the 2019 NFC Wild-Card Round, recording a sack and forced fumble.
Expectations were sky-high for the "Jack Rabbit" in his first full season with the Black and Gold, the 2016 Pro-Bowl selection did not disappoint, starting the year off with a bang. In Week 1, New Orleans squared off against the new-look Tampa Bay Buccaneers in America's Game of the Week. Following a 17-7 halftime lead, Jenkins helped the Saints put the game out of reach with a pick-six on the Bucs opening drive of the second half to give New Orleans a three-score lead.
Despite missing three games because of injury, Jenkins was a mainstay of the Saints defense throughout the season, playing 90% of the team's defensive snaps in 12 of the 13 games he appeared in. The former second-round pick recorded interceptions in back-to-back weeks mid-season, helping New Orleans muster out victories without QB Drew Brees at the helm.
Jenkins' excellent play down the season's stretch for the New Orleans Saints helped propel the Saints to a Top-5 defense in football in 2020. However, Jack Rabbit's future with the team came to an abrupt end this week. New Orleans released the nine-year NFL veteran for cap relief, leaving a hole at their starting cornerback spot opposite three-time Pro Bowl selection, Marshon Lattimore.
In his New Orleans Saints career, Jenkins played in 15 regular-season and 3 postseason games making 17 total starts. He tallied 72 combined tackles, 15 passes defended, 4 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, and 1 touchdown.
Following his release, Jenkins is now a free-agent and looks to find his third team in three years.
Season Highlight: Pick-Six vs. Tampa Bay
2020 Season Stat Line:
- Games Played: 13
- Tackles: 55
- Tackles For Loss: 2
- Pass Break Ups: 12
- INTs: 3
- Defensive Touchdowns: 1
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