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Jenkins Gives Secondary Another Boost

Posted Mar 20, 2014

Former USF and Southeast High standout Mike Jenkins is coming back to the Bay area to help the home team, as the seventh-year cornerback signed a one-year deal with the Bucs on Thursday


STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • CB Mike Jenkins was a standout at the University of South Florida before being drafted by Dallas in the first round in 2008
  • A Pro Bowl selection in 2009, Jenkins has played six seasons in Dallas and Oakland, recording 10 interceptions and 49 passes defensed
  • Jenkins is the 10th unrestricted free agent to sign with Tampa Bay, the fifth on defense
Mike Jenkins' football career has come full circle, and that's good news for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their ongoing roster-reshaping project.

On Thursday, the Buccaneers announced the signing of Jenkins, a seventh-year cornerback most recently of the Oakland Raiders, to a one-year deal.  Jenkins is the second former Pro Bowler to join Tampa Bay's secondary since the start of free agency on March 11, as the team previously landed former Tennessee Titans standout Alterraun Verner.

Jenkins played his high school football at Southeast High School in Bradenton just to the south of Tampa and then stayed home to help a rising program at the University of South Florida.  A first-team All-America choice in 2007, Jenkins was drafted 25th overall by the Dallas Cowboys in 2008, five picks after the Buccaneers selected Kansas cornerback Aqib Talib.

The 5-10, 197-pound Jenkins began his career strong in Dallas, earning a Pro Bowl berth in just his second season after starting 15 games and picking off five pases to go with 49 tackles and 19 passes defensed.  He started all 16 games for the Cowboys in 2010 and had another 55 tackles, one interception and nine passes defensed.  Jenkins was limited somewhat by injuries during the next two seasons before leaving Dallas as an unrestricted free agent to join the Raiders.  He stepped right in at left cornerback in Oakland and started 15 games, recording a career-best 65 tackles to go with two interceptions and a forced fumble.

In all, Jenkins has played in 86 NFL games with 63 starts, amassing 226 tackles, 10 interceptions, 49 passes defensed and two forced fumbles.

Mike Jenkins started at left cornerback for the Raiders in 2013, recording 65 tackles and two interceptions

Jenkins is the 10th unrestricted free agent the Buccaneers have added since the start of the new league year last Tuesday, including five new players for a defense that showed promise in 2013 and is now under the direction of new Head Coach Lovie Smith.  All five of those additions – Jenkins, Verner, defensive end Michael Johnson, defensive tackle Clinton McDonald and linebacker Dane Fletcher, figure to play extensively, joining a core that already includes Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, All-Pro linebacker Lavonte David, defensive end Adrian Clayborn, cornerback Johnthan Banks and the safety tandem of Mark Barron and Dashon Goldson.