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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Kris Jenkins Trade Shocker

No one could've seen this one coming - after boasting of "returning 21 of 22 starters", that trade rumors would come out of the team's stoic, keep-it-together approach. And there aren't but a handful of players you'd expect to be on the trading block less than Kris Jenkins.

As part of the rumor (and somewhat misinterpreted by the media), the team was reported to have felt Jenkins wasn't as good as his Pro Bowl berth implied. It was interpreted to mean that the Panthers weren't happy with Jenkins' performance. Potentially unhappy with Jenkins for not returning to workouts this offseason, and possibly seeing value on building youth on defense, the Panthers reportedly shopped Jenkins to a number of teams, including the Rams and Chiefs.

The Panthers were eagerly trying to trade defensive tackles early in the 2006 season. Keeping 10 DL overall, and 6 DTs (eventually cutting Tony Brown, who started for Tennessee), the team failed in an attempt to trade - but everyone assumed it was Brown or Kindal Moorehead on the block. Ma'ake Kemoeatu and Damione Lewis were new - and therefore not tradeable. It's relatively unlikely the team was going to get anything more for Jordan Carstens, a 2005 starter, than Brown or Moorehead.

But what if they kept 6 DTs in hopes of dropping Jenkins, but never got the value? With a Pro Bowl bid under his belt after 2005's knee injury, Jenkins' value is up to a first day pick again. Whether the team is actually unhappy with Jenkins, just want to get value and youth, or are hedging bets on Jenkins being hurt again, is harder to say, but it made the offseason much more interesting.
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