Friday, August 5, 2022

Trading the Steelers would be the “best case scenario” for Teven Jenkins: Analyst from Bears

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The conventional wisdom among NFL watchers is that the Pittsburgh Steelers could use upgrades to both offensive tackle spots. Hence The Draft Network’s suggestion that the Steelers seek to acquire 24-year-old tackle Teven Jenkins, who is currently on the trading block, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo.

“The bears have received calls and had trade talks” about him, says rapport. “The former second-round pick has attracted interest because of his potential. A situation to watch.”

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The fact that the Bears are already looking to part ways with a 2021 second-round pick is noteworthy in itself, despite Jenkins being drafted by former general manager Ryan Pace and not the current regime.

Jenkins – who is listed at 6-foot-6 and 320 pounds – was drafted 39th from Oklahoma State last year but missed the first 11 games of his rookie season after undergoing surgery to repair back problems fix him that handicapped him during his college career. But he played in the last six games of the regular season (making two starts), allowing two sacks and committing seven penalties in 160 offensive snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.

Fast forward to this summer and Jenkins has missed the last six practice sessions at Bears training camp, reportedly due to a minor injury. But according to NBC Sports Chicago’s David Kaplan, the real problem is a “high level of disconnection between Teven and the new coaching staff, particularly Chris Morgan, the new offense coach,” who served as an assistant offense coach at Pittsburgh last season, but resigned joined the Chicago staff in February 2022.

“As one person … close to the team said to me, ‘He’s their most talented lineman, but I also hear he’s incredibly immature,'” Kaplan added.

“There have been questions about Jenkins’ maturity and overall approach, but Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has a history of successfully managing difficult personalities,” argues The Draft Network’s Justin Melo. “Working under Tomlin’s direction may represent the best scenario for Jenkins,” he concludes, having already addressed the perceived “question marks” surrounding left tackle Dan Moore Jr. and right tackle Chuks Okorafor.

It’s not inconceivable that the Steelers could talk to the Bears about Jenkins. In April 2021, Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline pointed this out Jenkins was one of two Offensive linemen being considered for Pittsburgh’s first-round pick if Running back Najee Harris was already off the board.

Additionally, the Steelers have had a preliminary meeting with Jenkins, according to blackandgoldnation.com, indicating a modicum of interest.

Acquiring it would also not be prohibitively expensive, at least not from a financial point of view. A new team would be responsible for his $1,041,266 salary in 2022, with his salaries rising to $1,422,532 in 2023 and $1,803,798 in 2024, according to overthecap.com. It seems doubtful that the bears could ask for anything more than a middle draft pick in return.

Whether the Steelers would be willing to give Jenkins a chance, there’s no need for left attack except in the event of injury to second-year man Dan Moore Jr., a former fourth-round pick (Texas A&M) who started 16 games in his rookie year Has. Earlier this year, former Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said that Moore was the “Links device of the future for this football team, and he’s going to be very good at it.” More recently, ex-Steelers offense guard Ramon Foster suggested that Moore had Hall of Famer potential.

As for the right side of the line, the Steelers signed a new three-year, $29.25 contract with Chuk’s Okorafor in March 2022, but the deal is structured so they can exit after this season without a prohibitive size death-money cap reached.

In the meantime, it’s fair to say the Steelers lack depth options in tackle, so there’s always a chance the team will try to add a talent like Jenkins as a depth/development project given his left and right tackle experience.

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