The 25-year-old Jenkins played three seasons with San Diego since entering the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Chargers in 2000. Jenkins led the Chargers in kickoff returns in each of his three seasons with San Diego, just missing the 1,000-yard mark for the third time in 2002 while totaling 925 yards in just 13 games.
Jenkins earned Pro Bowl alternate honors in 2001 after leading the NFL with a 26.6-yard average on kickoff returns. In 2001, he led the NFL and set Chargers team records in kickoff return yards with 1,541, breaking the previous mark he set just one year earlier (1,531 yards in 2000).The 5-11, 190-pound Jenkins tied the Chargers mark in kickoff returns for scores with two in 2001. He returned a kickoff 93 yards during a 2001 contest against the Raiders and had an 88-yard return for a touchdown on the opening kickoff against Denver. Signing Jenkins became a bigger priority after the Raiders released Terry Kirby, who had performed in that role the previous two seasons, in a cost cutting move.