Defensive end Cullen Jenkins will not be returning to the Green Bay Packers. The Philadelphia Eagles restructured his contract Tuesday.
Jenkins is due a $5 million roster bonus in March, which led to speculation the 31-year-old might be released, clearing the way for a return to the Packers who sorely missed his production in 2011. Under the terms of the new deal, Jenkins will still get his roster bonus, but his base salary will be reduced from $2.5 million to $820,000 for 2012. The deal was also shortened from four years to three years. Jenkins will make $1.5 million in salary and receive a $1 million roster bonus in what will be the final year of his contract, in 2013.
Jenkins, who had 40 tackles and 5.5 sacks for Philly in 2011, said he wants to retire an Eagle and seemed to take a veiled shot at the Packers, who made no effort to re-sign him after the 2010 campaign.
“I’m not one of those type of players that bounce around, try to get as much as he can get,” Jenkins said. “I wanted some security. I wanted to be somewhere that I liked and that liked me.”
Although he produced seven sacks in only 11 games in his final season in Green Bay, the Packers chose to move on despite Jenkins insistence he would have given the team a hometown discount. The Packers never seriously negotiated with him, largely because they felt he was past his prime and injury prone. Instead, the team decided to turn his job over to second-year player Mike Neal, who’s an injury risk himself, to disastrous results.
Neal played in only seven games and didn’t start one, recording three tackles and no sacks, while Howard Green, Jarius Wynn and C.J. Wilson got the bulk of the playing time opposite Ryan Pickett. Without Jenkins, the Packers pass rush was largely ineffective. Meanwhile, Jenkins started 16 games for the Eagles and became a locker room leader.
You win some and you lose some, but unfortunately the Packers won’t be getting a do-over with Cullen Jenkins.