"Mike Jenkins, we believe, is a big part of our football team, right now," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday. "And he's making a business decision not to be here. But we're not going to trade him. We like Mike Jenkins because he's going to be a part of our team. We got to get him healthy and we got to get him back on the field."
A source said Jenkins will not attend the voluntary team workouts at Valley Ranch and is seeking a trade from the Cowboys. However, it isn't known if Jenkins has formally asked the team to be dealt, the source said.
The Cowboys did shop Jenkins during the NFL draft but wanted something significant for him. Owner Jerry Jones said two weeks ago he wants Jenkins as a long-term fixture at Valley Ranch, but that was after Dallas moved up in the draft to select LSU corner Morris Claiborne at No. 6 and signed another corner, Brandon Carr, to a five-year, $50.1 million deal in free agency.
And while Jenkins isn't in camp working out with his teammates, Garrett made a note of the lone absence.
"We had 60 guys on our roster for most of the offseason and we had 59 guys at our facility working out involved in our offseason program," Garrett said. "We had 90 guys on our team now and we pretty much had 89 guys around here doing everything that we wanted them to do."
The Cowboys don't seem upset with Jenkins because the offseason work is voluntary and they have been in communication with him. Jenkins is entering the last year of his contract and is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.
If Jenkins doesn't get traded and doesn't report to the three-day mandatory minicamp, tentatively scheduled to start June 14, he could get fined $10,000 per day, according to the collective bargaining agreement.
"I've spoken to him a few times, again we've had good conversations," secondary coach Jerome Henderson said. "I'll keep those conversations private, because they're between he and I, but we've had good conversations."
Jenkins, who finished with just one interception during a injury riddled 2011 season, tied for the team lead with 10 pass breakups.
"We've been in communication with Mike," Garrett said. "We want Mike to be here and when he has to be here he will be here. We'd like to have him here before then but that's his decision right now."