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Cardinals Sign Cornerback Mike Jenkins

Eight-year veteran another option to compete for second CB spot


Cornerback Mike Jenkins, who started five games for the Buccaneers last season, has signed with the Cardinals.

The Cardinals continued their quest to upgrade at cornerback, signing Mike Jenkins on Tuesday.

Jenkins, 31, is an eight-year veteran who spent the past two seasons in Tampa Bay. He started five games last year for the Buccaneers, finishing with 14 tackles and five passes defensed. His 2014 season ended after one game because of a torn pectoral muscle, but prior to that, Jenkins -- a first-round pick in 2008 -- was a regular starter in stints with the Cowboys and Raiders.

"It was exciting," General Manager Steve Keim said of the pickup. "Obviously a guy that's had his success in the league, an eight-year veteran who has started for four-and-a-half years. Certainly excited to add him to the core. Any time you can create competition at every position, you have a chance to be successful."

Jenkins, listed at 5-foot-10 and 197 pounds, made the Pro Bowl for Dallas in 2009 and has 10 career interceptions. He visited the Cardinals as a free agent in March of 2014 but eventually joined the Buccaneers, and the Cardinals signed Antonio Cromartie.

Patrick Peterson will start at one outside cornerback spot for the Cardinals in 2016, but the other is in flux. While Justin Bethel is the favorite after filling in late last season for an injured Tyrann Mathieu, Jenkins joins rookies Brandon Williams and Harlan Miller and second-year man Cariel Brooks among the other options heading into training camp.

Keim handicapped the competition as the players prepare to return.

"Obviously Justin is the current starter, but it's always going to be an open competition," Keim said. "Knowing Bruce Arians and his staff, we'll play the best 11 out there, so whoever gives us a chance to succeed. But we have expectations for Justin. He's got great athleticism and movement skills. He's got to continue to hone his skills, moreso with the eyes, the vision, the instinctual things that come with the game. And really, more than anything, he just needs to play football. The more Justin plays the better he'll get."

The Cardinals released cornerback Carrington Byndom in a corresponding move.

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