FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Last Friday, tight end Austin Saferian-Jenkins was kicked out of practice after being arrested for his a DUI earlier that morning. He was then waived by his former team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Monday, Jenkins was claimed off waivers by the Jets, and today he stood before the media and ensured them that he wouldn't let his past define him.
"I'm going to give everything for my teammates and the organization," Jenkins said.
The six-foot-five tight end hopes to redeem himself with another shot at playing football. Head coach Todd Bowles said he spoke with Jenkins and both came to a mutual agreement.
"We sat down and we talked about it," said Bowles. We have a clear understanding of what I expect and he has a clear understanding of what he’s going get from me and the rest of the team, so we’ll just go from there."
Jenkins has been on the Jets' radar all offseason and they hope to bring him along so that eventually he can contribute to the team.
“I’m just trying to get acclimated to the playbook…I’m focusing on learning the plays right now,” Jenkins said. "I'm spending as much time here, getting here early, leaving here late so that I can try and pick this thing up as fast as I can."
The Jets don't expect him to play until he learns Chan Gailey's system which may take a month or so to do. Jenkins practiced with the Jets for the first time today and it’s a no brainer that he needs more time to get acclimated to the offensive system.
“I’ve definitely worked on a lot of things to become a better blocker… I’m looking forward to the opportunity of getting better here,” said Jenkins.
The Jets don't have a catch by a tight end this season. If Jenkins plays to his potential, the former second-round pick will prove to be a valuable asset for the Jets down the line.
"He's a good looking young player," Gailey said of Jenkins. "He looks like a guy that's going to eventually play."
Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall has welcomed Jenkins to the team with open arms despite just joining the team. Marshall can provide veteran leadership to the 23 year-old and steer him in the right direction.
"He reached out to me before I was claimed and I really appreciate him," said Jenkins. "He's definitely helped me out a lot, giving me all the resources in the city that I need to get the help that I need...It means a lot to me."
The Jets host the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday and while Jenkins likely won't play, he plans to make the most of a new opportunity for the time being.
“I have to hold up my end of the bargain and do what’s expected of me,” said Jenkins. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
“You’ve got to be very thankful for the privilege of playing in the National Football League.”
"He’s got a clean slate with us," said Bowles. "What he does going forward will determine what we do."
Marcus Reynolds is a staff writer for Jetsinsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@Marcus_JRNL), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).