The Poles can send a clear message if they decide to trade with Jenkins who originally appeared on NBC Sports in Chicago
When he took over as the Bears’ general manager, Ryan Poles gave every player a clean slate. But he never specified how long each player’s trial period would be.
In the case of Teven Jenkins, the answer is clear. While talented and full of potential, the former second-round pick has no place in the Poles-Matt Eberflus Bears’ long-term plans.
On Sunday, NBC Sports Chicago’s David Kaplan reported that the Bears were having issues with Jenkins’ immaturity and that the young intervention did not go well with offensive line coach Chris Morgan.
Twenty-four hours later, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Bears have greeted and made business calls involving Jenkins.
Could this be a last-ditch attempt to motivate the Poles? Probably. But it is likely that time has run out.
Paul and Eberflos did not set out to formulate Jenkins. They didn’t trade the Precious Capital Project to step up and choose a young therapist with maturity and comeback issues. They didn’t cut Charles Leno Jr. before Jenkins played a shot.
It’s not their fault to own or fix. If they didn’t see a place for him in their world system, there was no reason to keep him around.
When Poles and Eberflus were brought in, they told Jenkins that he would return to his preferred position in the correct intervention. Jenkins seemed excited about the move and aware that, like everyone else on the list, he must earn his place in the bears’ future.
After a few offseason practices, Eberflus transferred Jenkins to the second team. The company’s line was that the Bears were “looking” for the right offensive line combination. That was believable, but the most likely answer was always that Jenkins did not meet the standards set by the new hires.
Boot camp arrived last week. The Bears signed off on offensive tackle Riley Reeve, giving them a veteran presence in a room full of young tacklers. It became clear that the signing was due to Jenkins’ problems and not the young Braxton Jones.
Jenkins worked as a qualified additional blocker on heavy sets during his solo trainings. He did not see any actors from the first series. The Oklahoma State producer has now missed the last four practices with what Eberflus described as a “daily” hit. Bears seem very ambiguous about the situation. We don’t know if Jenkins’ back broke, if he had an illness, or if his absence was due to something unrelated to the injury. Bears don’t have to reveal anything, so they aren’t.
What is clear is that Jenkins could be the perfect player the Poles would use to send a message to the rest of the roster in a position to prove it.
It doesn’t matter where you are crafted or how talented you are. If you don’t fit our plan, you don’t have to be here.
An argument could be made to keep Jenkins this season and try to shape him, at least, into a serviceable swing.
Jenkins’ commercial payoff isn’t likely to be anything to write home about. He’s a former second-round pick with limited starts and a history of back issues and immaturity. Some teams will run into it, but picking the bears early on day three will probably be the best they can get.
If the Poles exchange Jenkins, he can sleep soundly knowing that nothing is wrong with his shoulders. It was brought in to rework the franchise. Roll out the retaining wall, rip the floorboards, rewire the house, and make it into his vision for an unruly winning soccer team.
No part of his job description says he should win with Ryan Pace’s players.
If the Poles already know that Jenkins has no place in the bears’ future, there is no need to keep him. Get what you can and wash your hands instead of fighting an uphill battle trying to make a square peg fit in a round hole.
Every player on the Bears list must show that they can be part of the solution for Poles and Eberflus. The answer is not for the 2022 season, but for a multi-year plan to build an enduring winner. For this to work, each part must fit seamlessly into the correct place.
Looks like Teven Jenkins may have done the opposite already. If so, the bears have no reason to keep him around.
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