Today, former Jets DT Kris Jenkins announced his retirement via his Facebook page:
Wanted to let you all know that I have loved the support and respect that you all have given me throughout my career. But it is time for the torch to be passed to the younger players. I am going to hang up the cleats! The mind is always willing to play but my body deserves the rest. Thank you for the opportunites to play Carolina and New York.
The former Pro-Bowler (2006) joined the Jets before the 2008 season, and his leadership skills quickly permeated throughout the locker room. Jenkins again made the Pro Bowl in his first season wearing green (2008) under former HC Eric Mangini.
Unfortunately, the 6'5", 360-pound DT sustained a barrage of knee injuries in his career, including a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee against Baltimore last season -- the same knee he had previously had surgery on.
That proved to be the finishing blow and the final game he would play in New Meadowlands Stadium -- even though "Big Jenks" strived to return for the postseason.
Former Jets RT Damien Woody weighed in on his former teammate:
My two cents:
Sad that his career here was short; wish we could have stolen some of those years he spent in Carolina.
Jets fans just gravitated to the big guy and he was a role model. I remember attending training camp in Florham Park last season, and he was one of the three players that was mobbed by fans. Most of them were young children, and Big Jenks kept them entertained with his humor and down-to-earth demeanor -- class act. And he signed a TON of autographs.
A leader on and off the field who always made his presence felt during his 10-year NFL career.