Bears ‘Could not Be a More Ideal Fit’ for Packers Pro Bowler

Elgton Jenkins

Getty Elgton Jenkins of the Green Bay Packers is set to be a free agent in 2023.

Elgton Jenkins has been one of the best offensive linemen for the Green Bay Packers over the last four seasons, and he’s set to be a free agent next year unless the team re-signs him to a mega-deal.

With significant funds going to quarterback Aaron Rodgers ($28 million cap hit) and offensive lineman David Bakhtiari ($13.4 million cap hit) among others, Green Bay may not have the money to give Jenkins the contract extension he desires. Per Over the Cap, the Packers are projected to have just over $3.5 million in cap space next year, which isn’t ideal. That could change, of course, but things aren’t looking promising for the Packers cap-wise in 2023.

Meanwhile, down in the Windy City, the Chicago Bears are set to have just under $125 million in cap space next year according to OTC, far more than any other team.

Bears general manager Ryan Poles will be going on a spending spree in free agency, and Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus thinks Jenkins would be an ideal fit for the Bears and what they’re doing down in Chicago.

Could Bears OC Luke Getsy Help Bring Jenkins to Chicago?

“The beauty of signing a player like Elgton Jenkins in free agency is that he makes sense as an addition no matter where a team needs reinforcements along its offensive line,” Spielberger wrote on November 15.

Spielberger ranked Jenkins No. 5 in his early 2023 free agency projections, and he highlighted the O-lineman’s versatility, as well as his competency at every position he has played.

“Jenkins has graded above 65.0 for his career at center, left guard, left tackle and right tackle, and while right guard just happens to be the only spot he hasn’t received significant snaps, it’s not like he’s been bad there,” Speilberger added.

Jenkins, who turns 27 in December, suffered a torn ACL Week 11 of the 2021 season, but he recovered in expedient fashion, and was ready Week 2 of this season. He has started eight games for Green Bay this year. Spielberger thinks former Packers quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Luke Getsy, who is currently orchestrating the league’s best rushing offense in Chicago, could be a factor.

“The Chicago Bears with offensive coordinator Luke Getsy coming over from Green Bay this past offseason could not be a more ideal fit for his services,” Spielberger added. “If the Packers don’t work out an extension or place the tag on Jenkins, expect them to throw a literal bag at one of the league’s most versatile offensive linemen.”

What Kind of Extension Might Elgton Jenkins Command?

If the Packers place the franchise tag on Jenkins — which is a very real possibility —  a tag-and-trade scenario is possible, but highly unlikely where the Bears are concerned. The two NFC North rivals haven’t made a trade since 1999, and they’re not likely going to make one for Jenkins.

Thus, Chicago is going to have to hope that Green Bay can’t come to an agreement on a long-term deal with Jenkins. That’s also a very real possibility.

Spotrac has Jenkins’ market value at $13.9 million a year, projecting he’ll sign somewhere in the ballpark of a four-year, $56 million extension. The Packers don’t have anywhere near that kind of money, but the Bears will.

Jenkins has played in 48 games over his four seasons in Green Bay (46 starts), and the former second-round pick out of Mississippi State has experience playing center (297 snaps), left guard (1,834 snaps), right tackle (372 snaps) and left tackle (524). He was a Pro Bowl selection in 2020.

In 339 snaps at right tackle and 192 snaps at left guard this season, Jenkins has allowed 3.0 sacks, a QB hit and 16 total pressures. He has been getting back up to speed after the late-season ACL tear last year, but has still been performing well.

He should look even better next offseason after some rest, and Spielberger is correct — he’d be a perfect addition to Getsy’s offense. We’ll see if Chicago will be lucky enough to land him.

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