By the end of mandatory minicamps in the spring, something felt off about Teven Jenkins. He’d gone from the obvious choice for the starting right tackle to demoted to the second team. Head coach Matt Eberflus insisted it was part of the team shuffling the offensive line, trying to find the best five-man combination possible. Then things got weirder when the former 2nd round pick was a no-show at the start of training camp.
During a YouTube video, David Kaplan of ESPN stated that the situation wasn’t health-related. There was a serious disconnect between Jenkins and the new coaching staff, especially offensive line coach Chris Morgan. It was a maturity problem. Apparently, the Bears have gotten the change in attitude they were looking for. Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network both reported the Bears were having trade conversations with other teams regarding Jenkins.
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
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 1, 2022
Teven Jenkins was snakebit from the moment he arrived.
Even before the NFL draft last year he was nursing an injured back. Then after the Bears traded up to get him that April, he injured it again in a completely different place. That forced him to have surgery that resulted in months of missed action. He didn’t return until November and wasn’t overly impressive when he finally played. Then before he had a chance to get established, the coaching staff and front office were both fired.
Matt Eberflus arrived with a clear message. The standard was about to be raised and players had to give 100% commitment. Teven Jenkins dropped weight and seemed ready for the summer. Then he got demoted before training camp even kicked off. When he vanished last week, speculation began to run rampant.
No clear answers were offered as to why he was out. Eberflus only mentioned he was “day-to-day.” Now we have the real answer. The Bears are fielding trade discussions and don’t want to risk him getting injured in the meantime. If it comes to pass, that would put a fitting exclamation on Ryan Pace’s ugly run as GM when drafted offensive linemen.