It didn’t take long for Malcolm Jenkins to find work. The former Eagles safety is on the cusp of a deal with the Saints, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) hears. Jenkins agreed to terms, and Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets it’s a four-year, $32MM deal with $16.5MM fully guaranteed.
It’s a homecoming for Jenkins, who entered the league as a first-round pick of the Saints back in 2009. Now 32, Jenkins could finish his career with Sean Payton & Co. Last year, Payton expressed regret about letting Jenkins get away in the first place.
“Probably one of the bigger mistakes that we’ve made, and you have to ask yourself how did that happen? Letting him out of the building certainly wasn’t a smart decision,” said Payton (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo).
They replaced Jenkins with Jairus Byrd in 2014, handing him a six-year, $56MM deal with $28MM in guarantees. In 2016, Byrd lost his footing in the starting lineup. In 2017, they released him outright.
Between his first five years in New Orleans and his last six in Philly, Jenkins offers eleven years of high-caliber play on his resume. Along the way, he’s collected three Pro Bowl nods and two Super Bowl rings, one with each team.
This likely means the end of the line for Vonn Bell in New Orleans. The free agent safety who the Saints drafted 61st overall back in 2016 is likely to walk now, and we’ve heard that NFC South rival Carolina is interested in his services. Considering the Panthers just cut loose Eric Reid, that would make a lot of sense.
Jenkins has been a leader of the Eagles’ defense and in the locker room, and he will be a nice veteran presence as the Saints gear up for one more Super Bowl run with Drew Brees. He’s remained reliable even at his somewhat advanced age, starting all 16 games in each of his six seasons with Philly.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.