Green Bay struck gold when it spent a second-round pick on Mississippi State offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins in 2019. They're now paying him accordingly.
Jenkins and the Packers agreed to terms on a four-year, $68 million contract extension, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday, per sources. The deal is worth up to $74 million, includes a $24 million signing bonus and makes Jenkins the second highest-paid guard in the NFL, trailing only Indianapolis' Quenton Nelson.
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst later announced the deal, calling Jenkins "a core member of this franchise while displaying an uncommon versatility, unselfishness and toughness."
"It's a great day for us, a great day for Elgton," Packers head coach Matt LaFleur told reporters Friday. "Obviously he's earned it. He's done it the right away."
Jenkins has undoubtedly earned this extension with not only his performance, but his versatility. He entered the NFL as a center for the Bulldogs, switched to guard as a rookie and played quite well. A year later, he earned his first Pro Bowl selection by playing at a number of spots along Green Bay's offensive line, registering 27 or more snaps at left tackle, left guard, center and right tackle, with the majority coming along the interior.
Jenkins was already proving himself to be an incredibly promising guard when duty called in 2020. Then, the task became arguably even greater: Become Aaron Rodgers' blindside blocker for the season.
An injury to David Bakhtiari meant the Packers needed a reliable left tackle to keep Rodgers upright entering a highly anticipated 2021 campaign. Jenkins stepped in and had his best season as as pro, posting career-high PFF marks in all blocking categories and solidifying a position that should have been an exploitable weakness for the Packers.
If we learned anything about Jenkins in 2021, it was that he can be counted on to play any of the five positions. But he likely also learned the importance of contractual security once he suffered a season-ending ACL injury after just eight games played.
This deal solves any concerns regarding his standing with the Packers, who are securing a future with their best under-30 lineman with a contract fitting for a player who has already done plenty for the franchise. He's reprised his role as the do-everything blocker in 2022, too, splitting snaps between left guard and right tackle.
Jenkins turns 27 on Monday, one day after Christmas. His new contract might make this the most memorable holiday season of all.