The Bills made their first move in free agency Tuesday, re-signing restricted free agent Justin Jenkins.
Jenkins is a mainstay on Buffalo's special teams units and also provides depth on the receiving corps. Playing in 13 games in 2008, Jenkins made seven tackles on the coverage units. During the preseason last year, Jenkins caught five passes for 38 yards. The 28-year old has taken a winding road to the NFL.
Jenkins was initially signed as an undrafted free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004 after totaling 661 yards and eight touchdowns in one season at Mississippi State. He caught a bad break in the ensuing preseason when his foot got caught in the turf and he tore his ACL – rendering him to the practice squad.
Jenkins didn't last in Philadelphia, flaming out in two seasons. His biggest claim to fame was getting props from Terrell Owens in the egocentric receiver's biography. In thanking the teammates that supported him with the Eagles, Owens said that Jenkins was "especially" supportive.
After two years fighting for a roster spot in Philadelphia, Jenkins played for the Hamburg Sea Devils of NFL Europa. In his one season overseas, Jenkins flashed enough talent to earn a flier in the NFL. He helped lead the Sea Devils to a World Championship in 2007 with 583 yards on 39 receptions and two touchdowns. In the title game, Jenkins had seven catches for 74 yards and a touchdown.
For now, he's an integral cog of Buffalo's No. 1-ranked special teams unit. With another full offseason, Jenkins could get onto the field more in multi-receiver sets next fall. Considering that there isn't a whole lot standing in his way, Jenkins will have every opportunity to win the No. 3 or No. 4 wide receiver spots. He has deep-threat potential. At Mississippi State, the six-foot wideout averaged an impressive 15.7 yards per catch. During his training camps in Philadelphia, he caught several long balls from Donovan McNabb. And so far with the Bills, he's done more than enough to stick around.