Jenkins Out, Vilma In?


The Carolina Panthers have been trying to position themselves for the start of free agency starting tonight.  One move that has been rumored recently is a trade involving Kris Jenkins, the sour defensive tackle.

Earlier reports told us that Jenkins was actively trying to sell his house in the Charlotte area which indicated that he knew something was going.  However, as usual, the team is mum on what might happen with the veteran.

General manager Marty Hurney won’t comment but, as you might guess, with this many rumors and reports out there that a trade is coming, something has to be up and there has to be some truth to it…or not.

This deal could happen for a number of reasons.  First, the Panthers owe Jenkins a $1

million bonus within the next week.  The trade period opens tomorrow, the same time that free agency begins.  To avoid paying him the team might make a deal.

Another reason to want to make this deal is to avoid the same drama the team endured prior to last season with KJ.  The mess certainly didn’t set the stage for a big season for the big man or the team.  They can avoid that by sending him packing.

Finally, other teams are bound to be interested.  A report this morning in the Newark Star-Ledger, suggests that the Jets could be working with the Panthers on a deal to get Jenkins.  Reportedly the offer would include Jonathan Vilma, the Jets middle linebacker.

The Jets have told Vilma that he can seek his own trade which lends instant cred to this story.  Plus, the Jets are reportedly also shopping nose tackle Dewayne Robertson.  This would create a hole in their defense…a hole they could potentially be filled with Jenkins.

Also creating some speculation is Robertson.  The Panthers could do a swap of players with the Jets (Jenkins for Robertson) and ask for draft picks to sweeten the deal.

The story from Jersey quoted two sources close to the situation.  What that means is anybody’s guess, of course.

It’s becoming pretty clear that this will be a very interesting time for the Panthers and their fans.  Expect a lot of rumors, a lot of changes and, who knows, maybe a lot of excitement.  Now, let the debates begin!