On Why Cullen Jenkins Will Get Paid A Big Contract

When I wrote about Green Bay Packers DE Cullen Jenkins earlier, I should have pointed out this excellent article on why he'll be too expensive for the Packers to keep. And due to his age (he turned 30 earlier this year) and a recent history of injuries in 2008 and 2010, there is some risk in re-signing him. But I don't think either is as big a risk for an interior defensive lineman. Defensive lineman age better than some players (it's not like it matters much if he loses a step, his game is built on strength) and he's played in all 16 games in 4 of his 7 NFL seasons.

According to Pro Football Focus, he's been one of the best interior defensive lineman at rushing the passer, coming in at No. 3 in 2010, and No. 1 over the past three seasons. Although 49ers Justin Smith has played in a lot more snaps, and recorded a lot more total pressures. From PFF:

Club hand and all, Cullen Jenkins is likely to have quite the market for his services given what he can do (and has done) in 3-4 and 4-3 defenses. He was even more productive than a guy who seems to be finally get his due in Justin Smith. 

The qualifying number of pass rushing snaps has risen to 700, giving us 67 valiant defensive linemen qualifying to compete for the top spot. But who will it be? Well, we’ve spoken about him already … Cullen Jenkins is the top dog, ever so slightly finishing ahead of Justin Smith who has, by some distance, produced the most total pressure over the past three years.

Overall it's an interesting list of big name players, no-name players, and journeymen. Some veterans just aren't washed up when we expect them to be. Is anyone else surprised that former Packer DE Vonnie Holliday is still an effective pass rusher?

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