Former USF CB Jenkins signs with Bucs
Cornerback Mike Jenkins is coming home.
The former USF star signed a one-year contract with the Bucs, the team announced Thursday. The deal is worth $1.5-million, the same salary he earned last year with the Raiders.
Jenkins, 28, was a first round pick (25th overall) of the Dallas Cowboys in 2008, five picks after the Bucs selected Aqib Talib. He was named to the Pro Bowl in his second NFL season after intercepting five passes. But injuries limited Jenkins in 2011 and '12 and last season he signed with the Oakland Raiders as an unrestricted free agent.
Jenkins started 15 games for the Raiders, recording a career-best 65 tackles to go with two interceptions and a forced fumble.
"We're pleased to welcome Mike back home to the Tampa Bay area,'' Bucs general manager Jason Licht said. "Mike is someone that we targeted early on in our free agency planning and we are excited to have him in the fold. He's a proven corner who provides us with a valuable veteran presence and we expect him to compete for a starting spot in our defensive backfield.''
The 5-foot-10, 197-pound Jenkins, who played at Bradenton Southeast High School, is the 10th player the Bucs have added since the free agent signing period began last Tuesday. Five of those players -- Jenkins, cornerback Alterraun Verner, defensive end Michael Johnson, defensive tackle Clinton McDonald and linebacker Dane Fletcher -- should see a lot of playing time on defense next season.
Since releasing cornerback Darrelle Revis, the Bucs have addded to cornerbacks with Pro Bowl credentials -- Verner and Jenkins -- to go with an improved secondary that includes Jonathan Banks and safeties Mark Barron and Dashon Goldson.
The Bucs also have former Panthers and Bears cornerback D.J. Moore, who will complete for the slot cornerback spot.
Jenkins signing with the Bucs became almost inevitable Thursday when the Arizona Cardinals signed Jets free agent Antonio Cromartie. Jenkins visited Arizona earlier in the week after leaving Tampa.