Nov 17, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans running back Ben Tate (44) rushes during the second quarter as Oakland Raiders cornerback Mike Jenkins (21) makes a tackle at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Free Agency: Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Meet with Cornerback Mike Jenkins

Last season, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were thin at cornerback and had not yet acquired Darrelle Revis, there were plenty of names that came up as potential targets for the Bucs’ depleted secondary. One such name was Mike Jenkins, a former USF Bull who seemed to fit what the Buccaneers needed.

We all know what wound up happening over the course of the 2013 offseason, with Jenkins and many other reasonably priced corners being passed over for Darrelle Revis. But with Jenkins back on the market in 2014, it seems like the veteran corner is well within the price range for Lovie Smith and Jason Licht.

Last season, Jenkins hauled in two interceptions and defended six passes while also forcing a fumble. He also tallied a career high in tackles, as he contributed to run defense as well as tackling receivers. It’s this sort of versatility, combined with his historic tendency to post a large number of passes defended, that will appeal to Lovie Smith and his defensive philosophy.

Jenkins is not a premier corner, but the former first-round pick is a capable run defender and would be a smart, experienced addition to the young guns the Buccaneers already have at the position. Allowing him the chance to compete with Johnthan Banks for the second corner spot, and adding depth (and pushing the disappointing Leonard Johnson down the depth chart one spot) would help round out a defense that will look much different than it did last year.

 

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