The Teven Jenkins situation might be one of the weirdest the Chicago Bears have encountered in a long time. That is saying something given the lunacy this franchise has endured for the past decade. One year ago, he was a highly-touted 2nd round pick many experts saw as a franchise tackle. Now he has missed most of training camp with either an undisclosed injury or some sort of maturity issue.
Right around that same time, Ian Rapoport dropped the bomb that the Bears were fielding possible trade calls for him. This was not how people expected things to go when the off-season began. Jenkins had dropped weight. He appeared lighter and healthier. Everything pointed to him locking down that right tackle job. Then by the end of OTAs, he was demoted to the second team and never regained favor with the coaching staff.
Now his status remains in limbo.
Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy remains optimistic Jenkins will return soon and compete for a job. Yet the trade buzz refuses to die down. Courtney Cronin of ESPN discussed the situation on the Under Center podcast. She asked around the league about Jenkins’ status. It is confirmed that teams have checked in with the Bears about his availability. As to the matter of what they could get for him if traded? Cronin had details on that too.
Conditional 5th or 6th round picks makes sense. The acquiring team would want to protect themselves in case Jenkins encounters similar problems with them that he did in Chicago. He’d likely have to be on the roster a certain amount of time or play a certain number of snaps. A trade becomes far more likely if the Bears find that acceptable. It comes down to whether they truly are ready to give up on him.
Teven Jenkins is still talented. Is he worth the effort?
The two offered reasons for his absences are discouraging either way. If it’s a personality issue, then his maturity and commitment to football must be questioned. That is never a good thing for a player’s long-term prospects. If it’s an injury problem, that might be even worse since it will mark the second straight year he’s missed significant training camp time with an injury. One can only imagine if it’s another back issue.
Ultimately, this boils down to trust. Right now, it feels like the new Bears regime can’t trust Teven Jenkins. Either he must find a way to change that, or they will make him somebody else’s problem sooner than later. There are bound to be a few teams willing to risk a late round pick on his talent. GM Ryan Poles is always in favor of stockpiling draft picks, and don’t forget he wasn’t the one who drafted Jenkins.
The clock is ticking.
Draft status isn’t going to protect him anymore. If Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy were still in charge, Jenkins would likely be an unquestioned starter. Once they were out of the picture, his safety net disappeared. Now, what little credibility he had when the off-season began is gone.
Post Views: 2,385