Even if the fans don’t appreciate New York Jets veteran edge rusher Jordan Jenkins, the New York media does.
Every season, New York Jets beat writers come together and decide on the winner of the Eskenazi Award. The honor is given to the player who was the most friendly to the media that year. It’s named after longtime Jets beat writer Jerry Eskenazi.
For 2019, the writers ultimately came to an agreement and announced edge rusher Jordan Jenkins would be the winner.
Jets LB Jordan Jenkins is the winner of the annual Eskenazi Award, the most media-friendly player. It's named after former NY Times Jets beat writer Jerry Eskenazi. The winner is selected by members of the media who cover the… https://t.co/TSe0FytNQG pic.twitter.com/n4dtaUZdPj
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) December 27, 2019
Some members of the New York media spoke on why they believed Jenkins was deserving of the award. Most say that it was due to Jenkins’ professionalism and willingness to speak to the media throughout the year.
The media Good Guy Award goes to Jordan Jenkins (@jordanOLB) this year. Named after former NY Times Jets beat writer Jerry Eskenazi.
There are a bunch of true professionals in NYJ locker room that could have won.
Jenkins is always candid & gracious with his time. A class act.
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) December 27, 2019
Jenkins joins a long list of Jets leaders to have won the award. Jermaine Kearse won it in 2018. Past winners include Darrelle Revis, Brandon Marshall, Laveranues Coles, Damien Woody, and even Rex Ryan.
While everything may be smiles now, there’s a dark side to the award. Most players who win the award are not around for long afterward. Coles was traded, Marshall was cut, Revis was traded, Woody retired, and Ryan was fired. Jenkins just so happens to be in a contract year.
On March 16, Jenkins will become a free agent. He may not be at the top of the market with names like Jadeveon Clowney, Yannick Ngakoue, and Matthew Judon, but he’s definitely in the next tier.
It’ll be interesting to see if Joe Douglas looks to extend Jenkins before free agency. He’s clearly a team leader and an example to follow. If the Jets are serious about changing the culture in Florham Park, then keeping a player like Jenkins would be a nice start.