The Raiders have made an outside addition to their defensive line for the first time so far in free agency. The team announced on Friday that they have signed defensive tackle John Jenkins.
This deal sets Jenkins up for a sixth career NFL franchise, having bounced around the league after being drafted in 2013 by the Saints. He most recently spent the past two seasons in Miami, working in a rotational capacity behind entrenched starters Raekwon Davis and Christian Wilkins. Jenkins’ departure will leave the Dolphins in need of a depth replacement at nose tackle.
The 33-year-old has seen a snap share of 50% only once in his career, the 2015 season. Since then, his playing time has fluctuated, but it dropped in 2022 compared to the year prior, which itself represented his second stint with Miami. Jenkins totaled 20 tackles last season, adding one stop in the team’s wild card loss. A new depth role likely awaits him in Vegas.
The Raiders have made a number of moves on defense this offseason, aiming to bolster a unit which made a habit of blowing double-digit leads in 2022. That effort had yielded little along the defensive line to date, however. Vegas has lost Andrew Billings to the Bears, while re-signing midseason waiver claim Jerry Tillery. Jenkins will look to carve out a rotational role behind the latter, along with the likes of Bilal Nichols and Neil Farrell Jr.
More moves could be coming on the Raiders’ part along the defensive interior, since Isaac Rochelle and Kyle Peko are still on the open market. With Jenkins in place, the unit will have at least one new member, however, as the team aims to take a step forward on defense in 2023.
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