Malcolm Jenkins does not want to be the disgruntled veteran player with the arrival of a high draft pick.
Jenkins’ standing on the depth chart is clearly an issue now that the New Orleans Saints drafted Texas’ Kenny Vaccaro in the first round of the draft. The plan, of course, will be to get Vaccaro up and running with the starting unit as quickly as possible.
But Jenkins has reached out to welcome Vaccaro via Twitter, and he has recalled how uncomfortable it was two years ago when the team selected running back Mark Ingram in the first round and soon-to-be ex-Saint Reggie Bush took to Twitter and wrote, “It’s been fun New Orleans.”
Bush was gone a couple months later.
“It makes it an awkward situation in the locker room,” Jenkins told the Baton Rouge Advocate. “If you kind of look back at history, you see when we drafted Mark Ingram, how Reggie handled it … it was kind of the opposite.”
The Saints may not start Jenkins at safety any more, but they will have a plan to use him and he could occupy the position in the nickel package. The moving parts will be sorted out as the offseason and training camp role along. Jenkins is entering the final year of his rookie contract and the former cornerback knows he needs a solid season before entering the open market. He’s taking the right attitude with competition added to the mix.
“In this profession, it’s going to come at some point in everyone’s career, and I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “It’s going to make me better, it’s going to make me push myself and I think it’s going to make our team better.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune