It’s easy to root for a player such as Kris Jenkins, to hope that Big Jenks has his knee back together, to foresee one more year of commanding double teams in the trenches, to will the Jets to give him one more chance to grab for that coveted ring.
But after Jenkins’ second season-ending left knee injury in less than a year, then after his release on Feb. 28, all that became a little more difficult to foresee.
And Jenkins seemingly has ended any last hurrah with the Jets or with another team when Wednesday afternoon he announced his retirement as an NFL player on his Facebook page.
“Wanted to let you all know that I have loved the support and respect that you all have given me throughout my career,” Jenks told his Facebook fans. “But it is time for the torch to be passed to the younger players. I am going to hang up the cleats! The mind is always willing to play but my body deserves the rest. Thank you for the opportunities to play, Carolina and New York.”
Certainly situations and minds change. But if Jenkins has indeed retired and decides to pursue a new line of work in broadcasting, gastronomy, politics or more, he left behind a legacy that, true, doesn’t include without a Super Bowl championship, yet still packed a punch to the solar plexus.
In his time with the Panthers (2001-07) and the Jets (2008-10), he played in 108 regular-season games with 102 starts, had 24 sacks (3.5 with the Jets), swatted down 12 passes, forced two fumbles and recovered two, and had an unofficial total of 359 tackles.
Some memorable Jenks games for the Green & White:
■ Game 8, 2008, at Buffalo, when he hit QB Trent Edwards four times and chalked up 1.5 sacks and stuffed Fred Jackson several times at or behind the line.
■ Game 1, 2009, the season opener at Houston, when he threw Texans around as the defense “pitched a shutout” in Rex Ryan’s first game as head coach.
■ Game 3, 2009, vs. Tennessee, when he chalked up his Jets high of 2.5 tackles for loss (plus another at the line), all taking down Chris Johnson.
Those were the days, my friend. But as Jenkins once said in his inimitable fashion, “That was then, but now we’re at now.” And so now we wish the big guy all the best as he heads into his next career.
Tags: Facebook, Kris Jenkins, retirement, Rex Ryan
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