Jelani Jenkins signs with Raiders
The Oakland Raiders made their first move in free agency to address a need on defense.
Jelani Jenkins has signed with the Oakland Raiders.
Here's a picture of the 25-year-old linebacker inking his new contract, via the team's official Twitter account:
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This move marks Oakland's first free agency signing on defense this year.
Jenkins, a former fourth-round draft pick, will help the Raiders shore things up at inside linebacker. Malcolm Smith, who started at weak-side linebacker last season, signed with the San Francisco 49ers in free agency; Perry Riley Jr., who started in the middle, remains unsigned.
Inside linebacker was one of Oakland's biggest weaknesses in 2016. Jenkins can change that, if he's able to stay healthy. A multitude of injuries have caused him to miss a total of 10 games over the past two seasons, including knee, groin and hand issues that cost him seven games last year.
When healthy, Jenkins is a solid starter. In 2014, he started 14 of the 15 games in which he appeared and recorded a career-high 110 tackles (83 solo, five for losses). He also added 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a defended pass that season.
With 54 career games played (34 starts), Jenkins provides the Raiders with a experienced option at linebacker. He has the potential to be a longterm solution at the position with improved health.
Follow Kevin Boilard on Twitter: @247KevinBoilard
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