Free agent wide receiver Michael Jenkins will sign with the New England Patriots, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. The veteran is set to enter his 10th season in the NFL, with the last two spent in a Minnesota Vikings uniform.
Jenkins has never been a primary receiving option, as his entire career has been as more a secondary or tertiary read. His most productive seasons are behind him, but he was targeted 72 times last year in Minnesota. He caught 40 of those passes for 449 yards and two touchdowns. Those numbers are not impressive, and it's natural to point some of the blame at his starting quarterback. However, Christian Ponder did complete 62 percent of his passes in 2012, well above Jenkins' catch rate of 55 percent.
Coming to a pass-heavy Patriots system would be great for any receiver, and Jenkins could have the opportunity to put up some nice numbers in New England. To do that, he'll have to stick with the team until the season opener. At least one smart football person questions if Jenkins can do that:
Pats apparently signing Michael Jenkins. I'll be shocked if he actually makes the roster.— Aaron Schatz (@FO_ASchatz) March 28, 2013
The Patriots did release Brandon Lloyd recently as part of some turnover in the wide receiving corps, so they may be looking for another receiver on the outside. Jenkins might be able to fill that role, and it will come down to how effective he can be in training camp and how quickly he acclimates to New England's system.