Reports came out on Monday that the Raiders had agreed to terms with Free Agent cornerback, Mike Jenkins. Now the team has officially announced he has signed with the team. The deal is a reported one-year contract. He joins recently signed cornerback, Tracy Porter, who also received a one-year contract with the team.
Jenkins' arrival in Oakland is a welcome sight. The team was in much need of adding talent at the cornerback position.
Originally a first round pick in the 2008 draft out of South Florida, he comes with starting experience as he was the Cowboys' fulltime starter from 2009-11. His best season was in 2009 when he pulled in 5 interceptions with 19 passes defended to earn a spot in the Pro Bowl. The following season, he had a career high 55 tackles (51 solo) with 1 interception, 9 passes defended, and 1 forced fumble.
He played in and started 12 games in the 2011 season, missing four starts with a hamstring strain and a shoulder injury. He was bothered by his hamstring and shoulder injury much of the season. In that shortened season, he had 1 interception and 8 passes defended. Last off-season he had surgery on his injured shoulder and was sidelined through much of camp before losing his starting job to rookie sixth overall pick, Morris Claiborne.
He gets a second chance in Oakland as well as a change in scheme from man to zone.
He and Porter are the presumptive opening day starters, marking the second straight season the Raiders have had two newly signed free agents starting at corner. The Raiders are hoping Porter and Jenkins turn out better than Shawntae Spencer and Ron Bartell who were out for most of the season by week two.
His nagging shoulder injury is a concern especially after the injuries to the two starters last season. It is likely the reason none of the teams he visited this off-season offered him the multi-year deal he was seeking. If his shoulder is completely healed and durable, it is possible he could return to the form he showed early in his career.