The Packers have had a lot of trouble with blocking this year.
David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins are both recovering from torn ACLs and neither of them seems to have found their prime form just yet.
This led to a lot of people calling for Elgton Jenkins to move back inside to guard instead of playing right tackle.
Here are 3 reasons why that won’t happen.
1. Elgton Jenkins Is In A Contract Year
Jenkins is in the last year of his rookie deal and will want to cash in during free agency. Playing tackle will get him a lot more money than playing guard. Moving him inside would likely tick him off.
The initial reaction is “tough, shut up and do you job.” But it’s not quite that simple. If moving him inside diminishes his future potential earnings, he will not be happy. This may even make him refuse to re-sign with the Packers if he feels they hurt his contract situation.
The only solution the Packers would have in that case would be to slap the franchise tag on him, but that would mean paying him the average of the top 5 offensive linemen in the league, which is too rich to pay for a guard and would rock the Packers cap.
2. Yosh Nijman Is A Left Tackle
The usual proposed solution to moving Jenkins inside is to put Yosh Nijman at right tackle. The problem is he’s only played at left tackle in the pros. Switching sides for tackles is usually done in the offseason so they can get enough reps to feel comfortable.
If you think switching sides isn’t a big deal, try wiping with your other hand next time you sit on the toilet. Then image that foreign feeling while you’re trying to block guys like Nick Bosa and Myles Garrett.
3. Jenkins Is A Long-Term Tackle
The Packers locked up Bakhtiari with a long-term deal on the left side. They would probably love to maximize Jenkins’s skills and lock him up with a long-term deal on the right side, giving them Pro Bowl level bookend tackles for the foreseeable future.
Jenkins stands to get paid like a tackle in free agency one way or another. Whatever team gives him tackle money give him tackle money to play guard.
If he’s going to be a tackle long-term, the Packers should commit to him there now and let him work out the kinks from his injury recovery at the position he’ll be playing instead of swapping him around between slots.
Moving Jenkins to guard would be a short-term move. The Packers tend to think long-term with their moves.
Unless they thought moving Jenkins to guard was the one thing that would put them back in the Super Bowl this year, I don’t think they’d do it.
I don’t think the Packers believe that.
I think he’ll stay at right tackle.
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