If the Saints acquisition of All-Pro defensive backs Darren Sharper and Jabari Greer marked a commitment to the present, then the signing of rookie corner Malcolm Jenkins most certainly represents an overture toward the future.
Jenkins, a consensus All-American who was recognized as the nations best defensive back by virtue of the heralded Jim Thorpe award, tweeted Finally we can get this ball rolling. Sorry for making you guys wait.
This after the fourteenth overall pick and the first defensive back chosen in the 08 draft, was inked to a five year $19 million dollar deal-ending the Saints longest hold out in a decade. Jenkins will report to training camp after missing the first ten days, including the teams annual Black and Gold scrimmage.
Both sides were anxious to close the books on the deal, so as to give Jenkins enough time to adequately prepare for the complexities of a Gregg Williams defense. But the Saints lost some footing when the thirteenth overall pick, DE Brian Orakpo of the Washington Redskins, was signed to a five-year $20 million deal with $12.1 million guaranteed, and the fifteenth pick LB Brian Cushing, of the Houston Texans, was signed to a five-year $18 million deal with $10.435 million guaranteed. Both Cushing and Orakpo are represented by Creative Artists Agency/Football- the same agency that represents Jenkins.
Were glad to have agreed to this five-year deal with Malcolm and look forward to seeing him at practice with his teammates, said general manager Mickey Loomis . He is an intelligent young man and given what we saw from him on the field during the off-season, Im confident that he will get up to speed sooner rather than later.
Jenkins will add depth to a defensive secondary that has been a black eye for the Saints the past few years. Often undersized and over matched, New Orleans was 23rd against the pass. But at 6 foot 204 lbs, Jenkins should have something to say about that. While he was at Ohio State he totaled 196 tackles, 18 deflected passes, 11 interceptions, two returned for touchdowns, four forced fumbles, three blocked punts, and one sack (and a partridge in a pair tree)- sounds like money well spent to me.