Eddie Goldman is someone the Bears are really high on but even they realize that his health remains an issue.
After the 2014 second round pick missed 11 games over his first two seasons which included 10 a year ago, the Bears decided to bulk up their depth at nose tackle with the addition of John Jenkins on Friday, per his agent Sunny Shah via Twitter. It’s a one-year deal for the veteran.
Jenkins, a 2013 third round selection by New Orleans has made 22 starts in four seasons in the league. 21 of those starts came from 2013-15 before he was released by the Saints after seven games a season ago. He latched on with Seattle and made two appearances there.
The 27-year-old is a load at 6’3″, 359 lbs. Jenkins has 113 career tackles, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Bears general manager Ryan Pace was the Saints’ Director of Player Personnel the year Jenkins was drafted by the team.
His best season came in 2015 when he started 12 of 14 games played and added 49 tackles, three stuffs and 4.5 quarterback hurries. The lone full sack of Jenkins’ NFL career was against the Bears and Jay Cutler in 2014.
Originally a defensive tackle and occasional fullback in high school in Connecticut, Jenkins played two years at Gulf Coast Community College in Mississippi before being a consistent performer at Georgia.
In two seasons in the SEC, he started 20 of 27 games, recording 78 tackles, four sacks, a forced fumble, two forced fumbles and an interception.
Jenkins gives the Bears another option along the defensive line. He is a run stuffer who has played in the 3-4 defense since college. He notably finished tops among defensive linemen at the 2013 NFL Combine with 30 reps on the bench press.
Other players along the line under contract are starters Goldman and Akiem Hicks. Will Sutton, Ego Ferguson, Mitch Unrein, Jonathan Bullard and Kapron Lewis-Moore are all competing for spots on the line.
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