Defensive lineman Jenkins extended by Packers

Updated: February 26, 2007, 8:23 PM ET
Associated Press

MILWAUKEE -- Defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins has signed a four-year, $16 million contract extension with the Green Bay Packers.

Defensive End
Green Bay Packers

Tot Ast Solo FF Sack Int
32 23 9 0 7 0

The deal will pay Jenkins about $6 million in signing bonus, agent Cary Fabrikant said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

Jenkins has played defensive tackle and defensive end for the Packers, and said he doesn't know where he'll fit in the defensive line rotation this season. For now, he's just happy he doesn't have to worry about an uncertain future.

"Hopefully next year, whatever the role is, I'll be a little more comfortable with it," Jenkins said in a conference call with reporters Monday night.

The deal, which Fabrikant said was agreed to in principle on Friday, was reported on the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Web site earlier Monday.

"We are pleased to have reached a long-term agreement with defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins prior to the start of free agency," Packers general manager Ted Thompson said in a statement.

Fabrikant said Jenkins, who was slated to become a restricted free agent later this week, wanted to stay in Green Bay because of the city's family atmosphere.

"He fits in well there, being from Michigan and a low-key guy," Fabrikant said.

Fabrikant said Jenkins also appreciated that the Packers gave him a second chance.

Jenkins, the younger brother of Carolina Panthers star Kris Jenkins, was undrafted coming out of Central Michigan. He signed with the Packers in 2003, but was cut before the beginning of the season. He played in NFL Europe, then returned to the Packers and had 4½ sacks in the 2004 season and three sacks in 12 starts in 2005.

"[Green Bay] gave me a chance, it gave me an opportunity to play, and that was big for me," Jenkins said.

Jenkins had a breakout year for the Packers in 2006 with a career-high six sacks. He started the final three games of the season at defensive end and had a three-sack performance against Detroit on Dec. 17.

Jenkins said the move from tackle to end probably played a role in getting his new deal.

"I think that helped to show my versatility, going out and playing at defensive end and playing pretty well," Jenkins said.

Fabrikant said Jenkins was looking forward to staying in Green Bay.

"What's not to like?" Fabrikant said. "He's a family man. He's got two young girls, and he's married."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press