by Grant PaulsenBy Grant Paulsen

When the NFL’s free agency period begins, the Redskins will be looking to upgrade their personnel at several positions. One of the many spots where Washington will likely be looking to add a new starter is nose tackle.

One of the many interior defensive lineman linked to Washington over the past few weeks was former Panthers and Jets standout Kris Jenkins. The thought was that the 31-year-old could improve Washington’s porous run defense. But it doesn’t look like he’ll be fielding any offers from potential suitors.

On Wednesday Jenkins announced that he was planning on retiring when the lockout is lifted. In a sign of the times, the 11th-year veteran broke the news of his retirement on his Facebook page.

“It is time for the torch to be passed to the younger players,” Jenkins wrote. “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 opportunities to play Carolina and New York.”

A former star defender at the University of Maryland, Washington’s interest in Jenkins made plenty of sense. But the 360-pound nose tackle has not been able to stay healthy and that may not have changed in 2011.

Jenkins played in just seven games the past two seasons. He’s played in six of fewer games in four of the past seven years, falling victim to multiple season-ending knee surgeries and shoulder ailments as well.

A dominant force when healthy, Jenkins garnered consideration for defensive player of the year in 2008 when he served as a game-changing, space-eating, pass-rushing defensive lineman with the Jets in 2008.

He played in 41 games, starting 27, at Maryland and finished his collegiate career with 9.5 sacks and 154 tackles. He was drafted in the second round of the 2000 draft by Carolina, where he spent 7 of his 10 NFL seasons.

The Redskins will now turn their attention to several other nose tackle options including departing San Francisco 49er Aubrayo Franklin. A former Baltimore Raven who is familiar with the area, Franklin has missed just one game since 2007.


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