Red Flags All Over Jenkins Deal

I know what you're thinking, Chiefs fans. You see Kris Jenkins, and he sparkles like diamonds in the dark. He tantalizes with his Pro-Bowl tags and his 6-foot-4, 335-pound frame.

For a team like the Chiefs, desperate for talent at the defensive tackle position, Jenkins is attractive. If you close your eyes, you can almost picture him blowing past offensive guards on his way to the quarterback, adding a presence to KC's defensive line that allows Jared Allen and Tamba Hali to wreak havoc.

Wake up from that dream smell the coffee. It ain't from Colombia, and it ain't gourmet. It's freeze-dried, just-add-water disappointment.

The Chiefs aren't the only team in this league that needs an upgrade at defensive tackle. Across 32 teams, the position is weak.

Even a team with a great defensive line, like the Panthers, isn't going to be willing to simply dump a great talent at DT for a mid-round pick. It's too difficult to draft them (as the 2002 draft tells us) and finding one in free agency or the trade market is a crapshoot.

There are several reasons why the Chiefs should stay as far away from Jenkins as possible.

1. Injury history.

After a sizzling start to his NFL career (14 sacks in three years), Jenkins injured his shoulder in the second game of the 2004 season. He missed most of the season on injured reserve.

The following year he busted an ACL in the first game and, again, sat out the entire year on IR.

Now, give the guy credit, because he rebounded last year and played in all 16 games. But he wasn't the same guy.

I look at Kris Jenkins and I see Jerome Woods and Kendrell Bell. Pro-Bowl players that completely fell off the talent wagon after injuries. Who knows how effective Jenkins would be playing on a defensive line without Julius Peppers, Mike Rucker and Maake Kemoeatu?

2. Love of Krispy Kreme

Please forgive my unprofessional header. While it's likely not true in practice, the spirit is definitely there.

Jenkins has always had problems with his weight. He's routinely reported to training camp well above his listed 335 pounds throughout his career. If you look at a picture of Jenkins from the last Pro Bowl, he appears to have been training with Ryan Sims.

Now look at a picture of Jenkins from 2003, the last time he flashed his truly dominant Pro-Bowl form. He's the embodiment of a pass-rushing defensive tackle. He's in good shape. He almost looks like a completely different player.

Jenkins has reportedly been working out with a personal trainer this offseason. Maybe so, but that doesn't really guarantee anything. If he was in such poor shape during the Pro Bowl in February, after an entire season's worth of conditioning, what are two months with a personal trainer going to do? Consider me a skeptic.

3. Money

Here is the real reason the Panthers are trying to move Jenkins. Next offseason, they owe big money to Steve Smith, Jordan Gross and Julius Peppers. Jenkins' salary isn't prohibitively high at the moment (around $4.5 million), but it will be in the future.

Jenkins is a lazy, injury-prone defensive tackle with a salary that will soon become a problem. The Panthers are getting out while the getting is good.

And what's more, they just signed David Carr to a contract that isn't that far off from Jenkins' value this year. Are we to believe that Jenkins really has that much worth if the Panthers are more willing to commit money to a backup quarterback?

The Chiefs should forget about Jenkins. Go after Ian Scott, who's a young, rising star at defensive tackle without all the issues that surround Jenkins – even if he does want more money, as Warpaint Illustrated's Nick Athan reported on Thursday.

But he won't cost the Chiefs a draft pick, and he's more suited for the Cover 2 defense, anyway, at 302 pounds. How many 335-pound behemoths like Jenkins do you see playing in the Cover 2 across the league? Not many.

Skip this one, Carl. I learned my lesson from Kendrell Bell fiasco. I'm only hoping you did, too. Top Stories