NFL

Patriots add depth at receiving corps, sign Mike Jenkins

3/28/13 in NFL   |   BrianMaddock   |   1429 respect

The New England Patriots added to their thin receiving corps by signing free agent Mike Jenkins on Thursday. The terms of the deal were not disclosed by the team.
 
Mike Jenkins was never a primary receiving option during the past two seasons in the Minnesota Vikings’ run-based offense as he was passed on by guys like Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin (when healthy) and tight end Kyle Rudolph. The nine-year veteran Mike Jenkins caught 40 passes for passes for 449 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games with eight starts last season, while being targeted 72 times by second-year quarterback Christian Ponder in Minnesota.
 
Mike Jenkins had his best season in 2008, catching 50 passes for 777 yards and three touchdowns. The former Ohio State product previously spent seven seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, who picked him in the first round of the 2004 NFL draft. In 130 career games Mike Jenkins totaled 354 catches for 4,427 yards and 25 touchdowns. But now turning 31 this June, Mike Jenkins is certainly on the downside of his career.
 
However, the New England Patriots don’t have any proven receivers behind Danny Amendola and Donald Jones currently on the depth chart. Both Danny Amendola and Donald Jones were recently added during free agency from the St. Louis Rams and Buffalo Bills respectively. Mathew Slater might be the next-best receiver on roster, which also features Kamar Aiken, Andre Holmes and Jeremy Ebert.
 
The New England Patriots were looking for experience at the position after losing two of their top receivers from last season – Wes Welker, who caught 118 passes and signed with the Denver Broncos during free agency, and Brandon Lloyd, who had 74 receptions, was also released. Others in the group who didn’t make it back with the New England Patriots for 2013 include Deion Branch, Julian Edelman and Donte’ Stallworth.
 
Now, the New England Patriots could use the 6-foot-4, 214-pounder in competition for the split end spot in the Patriots’ pass-heavy offense, although Mike Jenkins has more experience as a slot receiver during his time with the Minnesota Vikings. Mike Jenkins could also help the New England Patriots near the sidelines as he is a tall endzone target.
 
However, it all comes down to Mike Jenkins making it through training camp as the New England Patriots often bring in a couple of wide receivers to build offseason competition. The New England will likely keep adding veteran and potential rookie options through next month’s draft.
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