New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins made his first public comments Sunday since his brother was arrested on aggravated manslaughter charges in connection with the death of his close friend.
The body of Roosevelt Rene, a musician also known as Tripps Beatz, was found in the basement of Jenkins’ Fair Lawn, N.J. home on June 25. Jenkins’ older brother, William Jenkins Jr., was arrested on an outstanding warrant before being charged in the death of Rene, 25.
Jenkins said it is “shocking” to think about what happened in the offseason. At the same time, he is trying to focus on football.
“I still have to come out and play football,” he said. “I put it aside. I understand I have to do my job.”
Both Rene and William Jenkins Jr. were living at the Fair Lawn home. Jenkins departed for his native Florida soon after the Giants’ minicamp ended last month. He returned to New Jersey last week for the start of training camp.
Jenkins mentioned that he hasn’t spoken to his brother since the arrest.
“I haven’t talked to (my brother), to be honest,” he said. “But I will to see where his head is at. As far as that, I’ll just leave that off the field.”
William Jenkins Jr., 34, has an extensive criminal history. He was convicted of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon stemming from a 2003 incident in Florida. He also served 2 ½ years in a Florida prison for multiple convictions including involvement in a burglary or attempted burglary and grand theft of $100 to $300.
He spent five years in prison in New York State following arrests and convictions on charges of criminal sale and possession of controlled substances. According to the New York State Department of Corrections, he was paroled on July 18, 2016.
Investigators believe Rene died after a physical confrontation with William Jenkins. If convicted, he could receive up to 30 years in prison.
Jenkins signed a five-year, $62.5 million deal with the Giants in 2016. After a Pro Bowl 2016 season, his 2017 season was one he’d just as soon forget. He was accused of not giving maximum effort at times, including leaving a game before its conclusion. He was suspended after not returning on time from the team’s bye week.
Jenkins only played nine games after being placed on season-ending injured reserve after ankle surgery. He is trying to put his personal life aside so he can put all his energies into returning to form as one of the NFL’s top corners. He admits it’s difficult but has no choice but to keep it moving.
“At the end of the day, you have to be a pro,” he said. “Things are going to happen in life, some things you can’t control, and this is just one of those situations.”
– Curtis Rawls is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage and covers the NFL, the New York Giants, and the NBA. Please like and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Twitter. Curtis can be followed on Twitter @CuRawls203.