A suitor for disgruntled Dallas Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins has been revealed, with Ian Rapoport of NFL.com and the NFL Network reporting on Friday that the Indianapolis Colts are making a major play to add Jenkins to their secondary.
One look at the Colts' roster and it's clear why first-year general manager Ryan Grigson would have interest in acquiring Jenkins. Jerraud Powers and Kevin Thomas, a pair of recent third-round picks inherited by Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano, are currently penciled in as the starting cornerbacks with newly acquired Cassius Vaughn as the nickel corner.
Thomas missed his entire rookie season with a knee injury and played in less than 40 percent of the snaps in 2011, while Powers has finished each of the last two seasons on injured reserve. Jenkins might be coming off shoulder surgery, but he's a former Pro Bowler who has missed just six games in four seasons and would start over Powers or Thomas, increasing competition for the nickel role.
Thus far, the Cowboys have said that despite the addition of a $50 million free agent (Brandon Carr) and top 10 pick (Morris Claiborne) at the cornerback position, and a $27.5 million nickel corner (Orlando Scandrick), Jenkins is key part of their future who they are not looking to trade. With Jenkins due a bargain-basement base salary of $1.052 million, Claiborne coming off a wrist surgery, and teams needing several good cornerbacks in a pass-happy league, they have managed to maintain some leverage when teams call about Jenkins.
That leverage could decrease the deeper into the summer this situation is allowed to linger. Jenkins is staying away from the OTAs in the hopes of a trade, which may be making it easier for the Cowboys to hold firm in trade talks with other teams.
If a disgruntled Jenkins were around the team on a daily basis, as he could be for the mandatory minicamp on June 12-14, the club would run the risk of poisoning the well and their leverage along with it. The Colts are a non-conference team looking to take a potential locker room problem off their hands. Unless there's a paranoia that Grigson will turn around and deal Jenkins to his former employer, the Philadelphia Eagles, if the offer is fair, the Cowboys should take it and move on.