Perhaps the lone bright spot from the Packers embarrassing 38-3 defeat at the hands of the New Orleans Saints was Elgton Jenkins’ performance at left tackle. Per PFF – he was the third highest graded offensive lineman in the NFL, playing out of his preferred position. This likely comes as no surprise to the Packers – who reportedly view Jenkins as one of the best offensive lineman in football. With David Bakhtiari sidelined for at least 6 weeks, the Packers will be able get an extended look at Jenkins at tackle. With that in mind, it would behoove the Packers to consider signing Jenkins to an extension now.
His price tag will likely only continue to go up – especially if he continues to excel at tackle in the interim. His versatility is unmatched along the offensive line – which makes the target for his next contract a little more uncertain. The Vikings just signed their right tackle Brian O’Neill to a massive 5 year, $92.6 mil contract extension, a figure that Jenkins’ agent is sure to be taking note of.
The question then becomes simple for the Packers – where do they project Elgton Jenkins’ future? Billy Turner is under contract for one more season, so it’s very plausible that Jenkins could find a long-term home at right tackle. If they truly regard him among the league’s best linemen, it makes sense to put him on the edge where he will face better pass rushers and more one-on-one situations.
If Jenkins and his agent will be looking for tackle money, the Packers may not be able to afford to keep him on the interior, and would likely be better off with the litany of young draft picks manning the guard spots with Jenkins and Bakhtiari outside. Either way – Jenkins stock is likely to continue to keep rising, so they would be wise to act sooner rather than later.——————
Jared is a rogue Packers fan from a Steelers family and an overall football junkie, including playing 4 years at Ithaca College. You can follow him on twitter at @JPrugar.