INDIANAPOLIS IN - DECEMBER 05: Orlando Scandrick #32 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates with Mike Jenkins after scoring a touchdown after an interception against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 5 2010 in Indianapolis Indiana. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
This is just a hunch on my part. I don't have any insider info from Valley Ranch in Texas. However, based on how the Cowboys are treating their disgruntled corner Mike Jenkins, and considering that the Dallas reportedly tried to trade him during the 2012 NFL Draft (or, so an anonymous executive told Pro Football Weekly), I think the Colts are going to get another crack at corner Mike Jenkins before the start of the 2012 regular season.
All the factors are in place for the Colts to make a move sometime during or just after training camp.
- During minicamp, one got the sense that Chuck Pagano isn't too thrilled with his options at corner outside Jerraud Powers. "We'd love to have someone separate from the pack,'' is a nice way of saying his corners aren't that good.
- The Colts interest in Jenkins is well known.
- Jenkins is, reportedly, still recovering from a shoulder injury, which he played with last year. Dallas has said it is "more than likely" they could put him on PUP to start camp. This move seems to suggest the Cowboys extreme interest in trading Jenkins. If he were to practice and get hurt, the Cowboys would be stuck with him. Storing him on PUP gives Dallas until the end of training camp to negotiate the best deal for them.
- I wrote earlier that it made sense for Dallas to keep Jenkins. Having him as their third corner, along with first rounder Morris Claiborne and newly signed free agent Brandon Carr, would give them one of the best corner groupings in football. However, the 'Boys seem to like Orlando Scandrick as the third corner, which isn't a bad option.
- Jenkins seems fed up with Dallas. He's reportedly refused to share his medical records with them, and he isn't rehabbing his shoulder injury at the team's facilities. Very difficult to see a player return to a team when the friction is this bad.
- Some folks have suggested that Dallas could just store Jenkins all year, let him walk, and then get a comp pick out of him if he signs with another team. Unlikely. Dallas will get more if they trade him before the start of the regular season, perhaps even a second day pick. Also, Dallas has serious salary cap issues. They cannot afford to store someone counting $1 mill against their cap for an entire season. As injuries mount at other positions throughout the preseason and regular season, Dallas will need that $1 million to fill out their roster.
I think the Colts are still dangling a 3rd round pick out there for Jenkins. Again, that's jut a hunch. I don't know if Ryan Grigson is crazy enough to up the ante to a second rounder, which is too much for a corner like Jenkins. A first rounder should prompt Jim Irsay to fire Grigson on the spot. Anything higher than a 3rd is unlikely. Dallas is likely holding out, hoping that a team will offer a two.
Jenkins would certainly provide an upgrade to the secondary, but let's not go thinking he's the second coming of Champ Bailey. He was the Cowboys best corner last season, according to Pro Football Focus. However, keep that in perspective. Jenkins was so "good" for them that the Cowboys traded up in the first round to land Morris Claiborne after inking Carr to a five-year, $50.1 million contract.
To me, despite their denials, the Cowboys are looking to rid themselves of Jenkins. They're just waiting for the best deal to present itself. By the end of training camp, that deal likely will be the one the Colts (probably) still have on the table.