The New York Jets announced today that they have acquired DT Kris Jenkins from the Carolina Panthers in exchange for undisclosed draft choices and signed DT Sione Pouha to a contract extension. The announcements were made by Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum.
"I am pleased to add Kris Jenkins to our team," said Tannenbaum. "He is a physical player who has been a key contributor to some well-respected defenses for the Panthers."
Jenkins (6'4", 349) has started 31 of 32 games during the past two seasons. He produced 52 tackles, 2.5 sacks and one pass defensed in 2007 for a Carolina defense that yielded 3.8 yards per rushing attempt, the fourth-best average in the NFL. In 2006 he ranked second among Panthers defensive linemen with 53 tackles in addition to contributing 3.5 sacks and 10 quarterback pressures for a defense that ranked seventh overall in the NFL and tied for eighth in scoring defense.
During the four seasons that Jenkins has started at least 15 games, Carolina has finished the year ranked among the NFL's top 10 in overall defense in three of those campaigns, posting that distinction in 2002, 2003 and 2006.
"Kris is a productive player who is stout at the point of attack and has the ability to rush the passer," said Jets head coach Eric Mangini. "We are looking forward to adding him to our defense."
Originally selected by the Panthers in the second round (44th overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft out of Maryland, Jenkins is a three-time Pro Bowl selection, earning the recognition following the 2002, 2003 and 2006 seasons. Jenkins' 2004 and 2005 campaigns both ended prematurely when he was placed on injured reserve.
Entering his eighth NFL season, Jenkins has started 79 of 85 games plus four postseason contests, including Super Bowl XXXVIII, and totaled 290 tackles, 20.5 sacks, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and 10 passes defensed. He is also tied for second in team history for combined blocked kicks with three. He has blocked two field goals and one extra point.
"I am excited about continuing my career with the Jets and am grateful for the opportunity Mr. Johnson and Mike Tannenbaum have provided me," said Jenkins. "I am thankful for my experiences in Carolina and am looking forward to working with my new teammates and coaches in New York."
Pouha (6'3", 325) established career highs with 16 games played and 32 tackles in 2007. Seventeen of his 39 tackles were recorded during the last four games of the season. Originally a third-round draft choice in 2005 (88th overall) out of Utah, Pouha has played in 30 games with one start and collected 49 tackles and two passes defensed.