NY Jets’ outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins may have played his last game with the team.
The NY Jets placed their longest-tenured player, outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins, on injured reserve on Tuesday officially ending his season. And in doing so, they may have put an early end to his Jets career.
Jenkins might be set to join the list of previously “longest-tenured players” who quickly departed this season. Entering the year, it was nose tackle Steve McLendon who held that title, only for him to be traded just over a month into the season.
With McLendon gone, linebacker Avery Williamson briefly reigned as the longest-tenured member of the roster before he too was traded two weeks later. Since then, it’s been Jenkins who has received that distinction.
A third-round pick of the Jets in the 2016 NFL Draft, Jenkins hit free agency for the first time last offseason, but ultimately decided to return on a team-friendly one-year, $5 million contract.
The plan was for him to parlay his hopeful success in 2020 into a bigger payday in the offseason. Unfortunately, he’s battled a shoulder injury throughout much of the year and his play has suffered as a result.
After recording 15 sacks over the last two years, Jenkins had just two sacks in 12 games this season. That being said, his play had picked up in recent weeks with his Pro Football Focus grade skyrocketing to around league average.
Unfortunately, that might not matter come the offseason.
The NY Jets might not re-sign Jordan Jenkins in the offseason
Jenkins will once again hit the open market and there’s certainly no guarantee that he returns again. The Jets don’t have much at edge rusher, but they’re expected to make some renovations in the offseason.
And there’s a good chance the Jets opt to go in a different direction and move on from Jenkins.
Since joining the team in 2016, Jenkins has developed into a reliable, albeit unspectacular starting-caliber player. He’s a team captain and a well-respected locker room leader, but he’s not someone who’s going to light up the stat sheet.
Jenkins is likely always going to be an average run-defender and below-average pass-rusher, and with the Jets beginning to develop younger role players like Bryce Huff, they might decide to spend their cap space elsewhere — potentially on Jenkins’ replacement.
We may have seen the last of Jordan Jenkins in a Jets uniform. And if that’s the case, the title of longest-tenured player on the team will shift over to safety Marcus Maye.
That is, until Maye inevitably continues the tradition and bolts in the offseason as well.