Schneider: What safety Rayshawn Jenkins means for Seahawks’ defense

Mar 16, 2024, 9:44 AM

Seattle Seahawks Rayshawn Jenkins...

Rayshawn Jenkins of the Jacksonville Jaguars celebrates after an interception on Sept. 18, 2022. (Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

(Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks will look different at safety in 2024.

Julian Love is set to return after a Pro Bowl 2023 campaign, but the Seahawks released veterans Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams last week. And it doesn’t appear either will return, especially after Seattle signed Rayshawn Jenkins to a two-year contract this week.

Seattle Seahawks signing veteran safety Rayshawn Jenkins, OT George Fant

Jenkins, 30, was a fourth-round pick of the Chargers in 2017 and he has appeared in 109 games with 80 career starts. He’s been in Jacksonville for the last three years and has served as a team captain.  Jenkins has 10 career interceptions, including five over the last two years, and 33 pass breakups.

During his Thursday show on Seattle Sports, Seahawks general manager John Schneider shared what the Hawks are getting in Jenkins, and what his role will be on defense.

“He was a cap cut down in Jacksonville and played a lot of one-high (safety) this year for them and then played down in the box as well. He’s been known more as like a strong safety, but really aggressive,” Schneider said.

The Seahawks under former head coach Pete Carroll also used to play a lot of single-high safety, most recently with Diggs manning the back of the defense. That likely won’t be the case for Jenkins and Love moving forward.

“We’ll play probably more two-high (safety) this year, or split safeties, and he has ability to do both,” Schneider said of Jenkins. “Extremely disruptive player. We loved him coming out of college. He was college teammates with (Seahawks defensive back) Artie Burns.”

Schneider lauded Jenkins’ ability to step up as an on-field play-caller, too, noting that if a linebacker got hurt in Jacksonville, Jenkins would get the “green dot,” meaning he’d have a helmet that received play calls from the defensive coordinator, which he would then relay to his teammates on the field.

“He would have been able to call it for them. Smart football player,” Schneider said.

The Seahawks clearly coveted Jenkins, and he apparently almost joined another NFC West team.

“He came here and visited and then was down in San Francisco down in the Bay Area (visiting the 49ers), so thank God for those California state taxes, right?” Schneider said with a laugh.

Listen to the full John Schneider Show at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

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