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New Orleans Saints add cornerback Janoris Jenkins for stretch run

'We value the player, especially the position'

New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins gestures after breaking up a pass intended for Chicago Bears wide receiver Taylor Gabriel, back, on the final play of overtime of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Giants won 30-27 in overtime. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

The New Orleans Saints didn't engage in a laborious process when it came to submitting a claim on cornerback Janoris Jenkins after Jenkins was waived by the Giants.

The Saints felt they were familiar enough with Jenkins – and familiar with their need at the position – to add the former second-round draft pick to their mix entering the final two regular-season games and the playoffs.

"We value the player, especially the position," Coach Sean Payton said Wednesday. "It's always a difficult position to find. He's a guy that I can recall going through the evaluation process when he was a free agent and going to New York (in 2016, after four seasons with the St. Louis Rams).

"We've played the Giants twice since then. He gives us versatility and I think that's important here down the stretch."
Payton said Jenkins, who started 13 games for the Giants and had a career-high tying four of his 22 career interceptions this season, along with 14 pass breakups, can play corner or slot.

"We think that he does have position flex (flexibility)," Payton said.

Jenkins, who has returned seven interceptions for touchdowns and has forced six fumbles in 113 regular-season games (with 111 starts), is the second former starting Giants cornerback that the Saints have picked up during the season in the last two years. In 2018, New Orleans traded fourth- and seventh-round draft picks to New York for Eli Apple after Apple started his first five games of the season for the Giants. He started the last 10 regular-season games, and playoffs, for the Saints and has opened all 14 games for the Saints this year.

"I think it's a challenging position," Payton said, when asked to comment on Apple's play. "We play a lot of man coverage. I think Eli has been a real good, real consistent player for us throughout the course of the year. We like his size, his length.

"We've seen some good offenses and you've got to have a short memory. I think they've got to be able to tackle, I think that's important. I think that's why it's a tough position to find."

Payton also confirmed that the Saints submitted a waiver claim on defensive end Terrell Suggs, who was claimed and awarded to Kansas City.

"Yes we did. You get a player like that, that can rush the passer," Payton said. "I think three or four teams did and Kansas City, based on the order, was awarded (Suggs' rights)."

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