On Friday, the Giants announced that cornerback Janoris Jenkins had been waived, which comes days after he argued with a fan on social media.
On Wednesday, the 31-year-old Jenkins got into it with a fan on Twitter. During their exchange, Jenkins called the fan a “retard.” Jenkins would apologize a few hours later via Twitter.
On Thursday, Jenkins explained his use of the word “retard”:
“Where I’m from, we use all kind of words for slang,” Jenkins said via nypost.com. “If it offends anybody, I’m sorry,” Jenkins said. “It’s a culture that I grew up in where I’m from. You know what I’m saying, we use all kinds of words for all kinds of slang. If you don’t know, it’s a hood thing or whatever.”
Jenkins joined the Giants as a free agent in 2016 after signing a five-year, $62.5 million deal. He started every game since the beginning of the 2018 season, a streak that reached 29 in a row vs. the Eagles. This year, he leads the team with 14 passes defensed and is sixth with 54 tackles (48 solo).
Here is what Giants head coach Pat Shurmur had to say about Jenkins on Friday:
Q: How did you go about the process of determining today’s news on Janoris (Jenkins)?
Shumur: I released a statement, so I really don’t have much more to add other than the fact that I spoke to him. My understanding was he made an apology. After the apology, he made an attempt to rationalize his beliefs. Then yesterday, there was a decision made top down that we were going to move on.
Q: Is there more to it than just this incident? Was this like a final straw type situation?
A: I wouldn’t call it a final straw. Anytime moves are made, it’s obviously more than one thing.
Q: How much did his comments yesterday factor into the final decision, because you said you had spoken to him before?
Shumur: Yeah, it had something to do with it, for sure.
Q: He had used that word before in August of last year. Was he disciplined then for it?
Shurmur: Last year? I wasn’t aware that he used it, so no. I wasn’t aware that he used that word. It’s not a word you should use. I made that very, very clear yesterday. I made it clear to him as well.
Q: You guys made a big point of putting him in a leadership role and feeling confident about putting him in that role. Do you regret that seeing how things have played out?
Shurmur: No. You know what, you try to get all of the players to grow with regard to leadership. There are many things about Rabbit that… He practiced, he worked hard. As an older player, we had, as you all know, we have a very young group, so you try to promote leadership in all of the players. Just like working on any other element of a player’s game, you try to help them become better leaders.
Q: He had said some controversial things about the actual team earlier this year. The pass rush, then (Defensive Coordinator James) Bettcher. Every time you sat down with him, do you feel like he was listening to you then in hindsight or was he lying to you?
Shurmur: I had a relationship where I could talk to him and be very frank about my feelings all the way along. Our ability to communicate all along has been good. He was able to explain to me what he meant by what he said. (I’ll) just leave it at that.
Q: Were you surprised then how after sitting down with him, that that’s how it went from when you sat down to him to what he came out and said publicly afterwards?
Shurmur: I have nothing more to say on it. I’m not surprised by anything right now.
Q: Why cut instead of suspend? Why such a final decision?