By Brady Henderson
In need of a boost to their interior pass rush, the Seahawks are reportedly scheduled to meet with free-agent defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins.
Jenkins, 32, was released by the Eagles last week, two years into a five-year, $25 million contract he signed before the 2011 season. He played in all 32 games and recorded 9.5 sacks during that stretch, playing defensive tackle in Philadelphia’s 4-3 defense. The Eagles have a new head coach and a new defensive coordinator, so a potential scheme change could have been a leading factor in their decision to release Jenkins. He was scheduled to earn $5.5 million this season.
The Seahawks should have a level of familiarity with Jenkins. General manager John Schneider was working in the Packers’ front office when Green Bay signed Jenkins as an undrafted free agent in 2003. Jenkins recorded 29 sacks, including a career-high seven in 2010, during seven seasons with the Packers before departing in free agency.
The Seahawks will be looking for help up front, especially if defensive tackles Alan Branch and Jason Jones sign elsewhere when free agency begins next week. Branch is more of a run stuffer, so his return would still leave the Seahawks in need of pass-rush help. A knee injury could make the Seahawks reticent about bringing back Jones, who had three sacks last season as an interior rusher.
The Seahawks’ stated preference would be to stay young and find the answers to their pass-rush deficiencies via the draft, but a team known for leaving no stone unturned will consider all of its options, including an older free agent like Jenkins.
Jenkins met with the Giants Monday. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, he’ll visit the 49ers Tuesday after meeting with the Seahawks Monday.