LAKE FOREST – Bears general manager Ryan Poles has received calls and held trade discussions involving second-year offensive tackle Teven Jenkins, according to a report from the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The 2021 second-round draft pick has drawn interest “based on his potential,” according to Rapoport.
The #Bears have received calls and have held trade talks centered around OT Teven Jenkins, sources tell me and @MikeGarafolo. The former 2nd round pick has drawn interest based on his potential. A situation to watch.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 1, 2022
The 24-year-old Jenkins participated in the first day of training camp Wednesday but has not been seen at practice since. Bears head coach Matt Eberflus would not say if Jenkins is injured, only that he is “working with the trainers.”
Former Bears general manager Ryan Pace selected Jenkins with the 39th overall draft pick a year ago. Pace traded up in the draft in order to select Jenkins, who some believed was worthy of a first-round pick. In that deal, the Bears traded a second-, third- and sixth-round pick to Carolina in exchange for the 39th overall pick and a fifth-round pick.
Days later, the Bears cut starting left tackle Charles Leno and indicated they wanted Jenkins to be their left tackle of the future. That plan, however, never panned out. Jenkins arrived at training camp last year with a back injury, which eventually required surgery. He missed much of the year in recovery. He wound up playing in six games, making two starts during the 2021 season.
With Poles now running the organization, he has put an emphasis on competition along the offensive line. The Bears drafted four rookie linemen and signed several in free agency. Jenkins participated in minicamp and OTAs in the spring, but he spent the second half of the spring working at right tackle with the second-string offense.
If Jenkins has fallen out of favor with the new regime, it would make sense that Poles would be listening to trade offers. Jenkins has potential – that’s why he had first-round draft grades by many pundits – but he just hasn’t had much of a chance to show it, largely because of that back injury. The Bears probably could find another team willing to part with a draft pick in exchange for Jenkins.
With recently acquired Riley Reiff joining the mix, Reiff and Larry Borom seem likely to be the starting tackles in Week 1. Jenkins might be more valuable as a trade chip than as a backup.