The New York Giants have signed defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins, according to USA Today. This smart deal means Big Blue have added a valuable interior pass-rusher to their defense.
The Giants have lacked a defensive tackle who can pressure the pocket, since Justin Tuck moved to end. They have instead relied on road-graders and run-stuffers on early downs.
For nickel and dime packages, the Giants have moved edge-rushers like Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul inside. Signing Jenkins gives the G-men a credible pass-rush from the inside.
It also completes an overhaul of the defensive tackle position for the four-time Super Bowl winners. Since 2010, they have parted ways with veterans like Fred Robbins, Barry Cofield and Chris Canty.
Head coach Tom Coughlin has also introduced younger players such as Linval Joseph and Marvin Austin. Joseph has been solid and certainly showcases the potential to improve.
He collected four sacks and made 33 solo tackles in 2012. However, Joseph is primarily a force against the run. He certainly doesn't possess the off-the-snap quickness and varied hands moves Jenkins uses to crush the pass pocket.
A Super Bowl winner with the Green Bay Packers in 2010, Jenkins has a good record as a pass-rushing interior lineman. The 32-year-old has notched 38.5 sacks during his career. He spent the last two seasons playing for the Giants' fiercest rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles.
While the Eagles struggled, Jenkins at least proved he hasn't lost his knack for getting to the quarterback. He registered 9.5 sacks in two seasons, including four in 2012. Jenkins showed he is still particularly adept operating as a 3-technique. That means he attacks the gap between the offensive guard and tackle.
That's just the kind of player that is missing from the interior of New York's front four. With Joseph being a more natural nose tackle, adding a 1-gap penetrator like Jenkins, adds true balance to an already dangerous group.
Considering the deal breaks down to three years at $8 million, with only $3 million guaranteed, Big Blue have solved one of their biggest needs for a small fee.