Janoris Jenkins Solidifies Saints' Defensive Backfield in 2020
Kyle T. Mosley
On Monday, the New Orleans Saints and CB Janoris Jenkins agreed to a restructured contract to keep him in New Orleans and create cap space for the team. When New Orleans signed Jenkins after his being waived by the New York Giants after a Twitter incident, the Saints inherited his contract. Jenkins would have earned a $10.15M base salary, a $1.0M roster bonus, and a $100K workout bonus accounting for $11.25M going against the Saints cap in 2020. The exact terms of the renegotiated contract have not been released by the club. According to Spotrac, Jenkins is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in 2021. Most NFL restructured contracts may allow a team to extend payments into additional years or “voidable years”.
**Contract Details Update via Field Yates of ESPN @8:00 AM CST, 3/24/2020**
Jenkins arrival in New Orleans came with great timing. CB Eli Apple was having an uneven performing year in 2019 and injured himself in the Saints vs. Bears game on October 20, 2019 in Chicago. He played in 3 games for the Saints, 2 starts, and accounted for 1 INT, 2 PD, 1 Forced Fumble, 0.5 Sacks, and 15 Total Tackles. In Jenkins’ career, he has 23 INT, 106 PD, 467 Tackles, and 7 interceptions returned for touchdowns. Jenkins plays the position fast and tough, in addition to his solid tackling ability. These are great attributes to have playing cornerback for the Saints.
In New Orleans' 2020 Wild Card loss to the Vikings, Jenkins covered former Minnesota WR Stefon Diggs for a majority of the contest. Diggs recorded only 2 receptions on 3 targets for 19 yards. He was not a factor. On Monday, Jenkins reminded fans on his “clampz2.0” Instagram account of his accomplishment versus Diggs and signifying he was back with the Saints.
Jenkins brings Confidence
Jenkins came in at a time where the Saints required stability at cornerback opposite of their star CB Marshon Lattimore. Since Lattimore’s arrival in 2017, he defended opponents’ primary receivers along with CB Ken Crawley and CB Eli Apple. Both Crawley and Apple became targets where offensive coordinators constantly attacked the defenses. It became noticeable that both players lost confidence and allowed big plays to occur at crucial moments in games. Jenkins, nicknamed “Jack Rabbit”, plays with confidence and “swag”, much like Lattimore. Although he is a 31-year-old cornerback, Jenkins can still defend quick and speedy wideouts. The combination of cornerback starters Lattimore and Jenkins, along with presumed nickel DB Gardner-Johnson, S Malcolm Jenkins, and S Marcus Williams has New Orleans “locked and ready” for combat in the NFL for the 2020 regular season.
2020 will be a tremendous test for the Saints to return to the NFL playoffs for a fourth-straight year. They will face Tom Brady (Buccaneers), Matt Ryan (Falcons), and Teddy Bridgewater (Panthers) for six games this season. However, they will also have to contend with Aaron Rodgers (Packers), Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs), Kirk Cousins (Vikings), and other top-tier quarterbacks in 2020. Saints Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen will have proven talent in his defensive backfield to handle the dynamic WRs such as Julio Jones (Falcons), Calvin Ridley (Falcons), Mike Evans (Buccaneers), Chris Godwin (Buccaneers), Tyreek Hill (Chiefs), and Davante Adams (Packers).
What to Expect from Jenkins
Coming to terms with Janoris Jenkins and signing free-agent S Malcolm Jenkins helps to solidify the New Orleans secondary. Expect many exciting plays to come from this Saints’ defensive backfield in 2020. New Orleans will compete against some of the NFL’s top offensive threats and quarterbacks. It gives the coaching staff, teammates, and fans reassurance that this defensive backfield will be strong enough to maintain the Saints’ position as contenders in the NFL.
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