The New York Giants defense was terrible last season—a far cry from the dominant defense that helped Big Blue to a Super Bowl win the season before that. So it came as a surprise when the Giants finished the 2012 season giving up the second-most yards in the NFL. Upgrades are needed everywhere on that defensive unit: in the secondary, at linebacker, at defensive tackle and at defensive end.
Well, the Giants took one step forward in rebuilding the second-worst defense in the league. Over the weekend it was reported that the Giants and veteran defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins have agreed to a three-year deal.
The 32-year-old tackle is expected to sign the contract on Monday. The contract is a three-year deal worth $8 million, including a $2 million signing bonus and $3 million in guaranteed money.
Jenkins had signed a five-year, $30 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles back in 2011. He started every game in the two seasons with the Eagles. The 6’2″ 305 lb. tackle had 9.5 sacks, but only two in 2012; not exactly a sack-machine. What Jenkins does bring, though, is help in the Giants’ run defense (the Giants struggled to stop the run this past season allowing an average of 129.1 yards per game).
This is a nice pick up for the Giants. Fixing the run defense was a major concern for the Giants going into the offseason. And with the Jenkins signing it addresses that concern, and they didn’t have to spend a ton to do it. Just with his size and strength, Jenkins can clog up the inside and stop the run.
The signing also means the Giants don’t have to draft a defensive tackle in the draft and can now concentrate on other problematic areas. Not a bad start so far.