Malcolm Jenkins

NFC East Notes: Redskins, Eagles, Giants

After failing to pry Amari Cooper away from the Cowboys, the Redskins are still on the prowl for help at wide receiver, as John Keim of ESPN.com writes. However, while the 2020 draft is historically loaded with pass-catchers, Washington certainly won’t use the No. 2 overall selection on a wideout, and the club doesn’t own a second-round pick. The Redskins could theoretically pursue a trade for someone like the Rams’ Brandin Cooks, or look to the free agent market, where options such as Robby Anderson and Breshad Perriman still lurk.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • Veteran safety Malcolm Jenkins wasn’t aiming for top-end money on a reworked deal with the Eagles, reports Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Instead, Jenkins — who was due $7.6MM in 2020 — wanted a two-year commitment at a slightly higher salary. The Eagles rebuffed that request, per McLane, and attempted to trade Jenkins before cutting him. Jenkins, of course, agreed to a reunion with the Saints after leaving Philadelphia.
  • The Giants pursued free agent center Joe Looney before he re-signed with the Cowboys, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. New York will continue to look for help at center, where Spencer Pulley is currently the projected starter as Jon Halapio recovers from an Achilles tear. Looney, for his part, may now be a starter in Dallas following the retirement of Travis Frederick.
  • The Eagles are hoping 2019 undrafted free agent T.J. Edwards is the club’s starting middle linebacker during the upcoming campaign, as Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94 WIP writes. Edwards, a 23-year-old Wisconsin product, played only 112 defensive snaps a year ago, but earned an exemplary 83.4 overall grade from Pro Football Focus.

Saints To Sign Malcolm Jenkins

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.

Eagles Part Ways With Malcolm Jenkins

The Eagles announced that they will not exercise their 2020 option for safety Malcolm Jenkins

Malcolm Jenkins has been an outstanding player for us and we are proud of everything he accomplished both on and off the field during his time in Philadelphia,” the team said in a statement. “Malcolm was a great teammate and leader, as well as one of the toughest and most reliable players to ever play in our city. After thorough discussion with Malcolm and his agent, Ben Dogra, both sides agreed on the difficult decision to turn the page on what was an incredible six-year relationship. We wish Malcolm and his family all the best as he pursues his next opportunity.”

The news comes right on the heels of the Eagles’ new agreement with safety Jalen Mills. It seems that Mills will help replace Jenkins in the starting lineup, though the team will have to draw from others when it comes to leadership.

Jenkins, 32, has been with the Eagles since 2014. He was an integral part of the team’s 2017 Super Bowl season and their fabric on the whole and expressed his desire to stay put. But, at the same time, he made it known that he would not play on his current contract.

I won’t be back on the same deal,” Jenkins said, via Zach Berman of The Athletic (on Twitter). “That won’t happen. The market is good for safeties now. I consider myself in the top tier.”

The Eagles, meanwhile, did not want to commit major years or guaranteed dollars to the aging vet. With that, he’ll move to the open market where he’ll attract countless offers.

Before the release, Jenkins was set to play out the last season of his four-year, $35MM deal. Now, he’ll seek “top tier” money – roughly $10MM per year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Cooper, Williams, Bryant, Jenkins

In good news for Cowboys fans and management, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports speculates that there may not be as robust a free-agent market for wide receiver Amari Cooper as expected. Cooper would be the biggest name free-agent receiver to hit the open market without a franchise tag in some time, but Robinson notes that the incredible depth of this year’s NFL Draft class at wide receiver might make teams more skittish about resetting the market to sign Cooper. Granted, Robinson also adds, “it only takes one suitor.”

Here are some more notes from around the NFC East:

  • Washington’s negotiations with star left tackle Trent Williams have been well documented since last offseason. The ultimate fallout led Williams to sit out all of last season. Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reports that negotiations disintegrated when Williams asked for quarterback money. Of course, it’s hard to know what that specifically means. Some lower-tier quarterbacks (like Mike Glennon and Case Keenum) have received deals with average values only slightly above the highest-paid tackles around the league.
  • Cowboys wide receiver Ventell Bryant was arrested on a DUI charge in Tampa, Florida on Wednesday, per Greg Auman of The Athletic. In Bryant’s arrest report, the arresting officer notes that Bryant admitted to having a number of drinks before getting behind the wheel and tested at a blood-alcohol level of .102 and .099 on a breathalyzer (well above the legal limit of .08). Bryant made Dallas as an undrafted free agent out of Temple and emerged as a key contributor on special teams in his rookie season.
  • The Eagles face a difficult decision surrounding the contract of veteran safety Malcolm Jenkins, according to ESPN staff writer Tim McManus. Philadelphia must decide whether to enact a club option in Jenkins’ contract before the start of the new league year on March 18th for $7.6MM. However, Jenkins has made clear that he will not play under those terms. He had wanted a new contract prior to last season but was willing to play under his contract in 2020. While Jenkins has remained an elite defensive back, the Eagles have been tentative to give the 32-year old a new contract that could pay him into his mid-30s.

Extra Points: Bennett, NFLPA, Cap, Kirksey

Although Michael Bennett went through a nomadic late-2010s stretch after the Seahawks traded him in 2018, he remained productive. The veteran defensive lineman has registered 15.5 sacks over the past two seasons and is a free agent for the first time since 2013. Bennett, who signed with the Seahawks in 2013, would like to return to the team to which he’s most linked. Asked if he would want to play for the Seahawks again, the 34-year-old defender said “hard yes.” Bennett, though, has not yet committed to playing a 12th NFL season.

I would love to end my career in Seattle,” Bennett said, via Joe Fann of NBC Sports Northwest. “It’s not up to you, though. It’s up to the team.”

The Seahawks gave Bennett two contracts, including a three-year, $31.5MM extension in 2016. That contract was set to run through 2020, but after the Eagles and Patriots traded him, Bennett and the Cowboys restructured the deal to direct him toward free agency this year. Seattle has most of its pass rushers — including Jadeveon Clowney and Jarran Reed — as impending free agents, so the franchise will have critical decisions to make in the next week and change.

Here is the latest from around the league, moving first to the reconfigured NFLPA:

  • Russell Okung has enjoyed an eventful March, being traded from the Chargers to the Panthers and filing an unfair labor practice charge at the NFLPA staff. As for Okung’s status with the union, he will no longer be part of the NFLPA’s executive committee, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Okung dropped his bid for NFLPA president, throwing support behind Michael Thomas in a race that went to Browns center J.C. Tretter. Both of the players Tretter beat out for the job — Thomas and linebacker Sam Acho — will stay on as executive committee members.
  • Calais Campbell, Malcolm Jenkins and Wesley Woodyard will replace Mark Herzlich, Zak DeOssie and Adam Vinatieri on the executive committee. They will join Tretter, Acho, Thomas, Richard Sherman, Ben Watson, Alex Mack, Lorenzo Alexander and Thomas Morstead on the 11-man committee, the union announced.
  • Rumblings about the salary cap rising to around $230MM by 2021 have surfaced, but the 2020 cap will not move too far from the previously estimated $200MM amount. If the players approve the CBA proposal, the highest the cap would surge to in 2020 would be $206MM, per Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic (subscription required). While the salary ceiling could climb significantly by 2023, if the league’s TV negotiations go well, those spikes will not come until at least 2021.
  • Christian Kirksey may have a chance to land on his feet before free agency. Recently released by the Browns, the veteran linebacker has three visits scheduled, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com tweets. Kirksey’s travel itinerary is not yet known, but the 27-year-old defender’s first visit is scheduled for Wednesday morning.
  • The Texans will take a look at a notable wide receiver soon. They will work out former Broncos rotational cog Jordan Taylor, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle notes. Taylor has not played since the 2017 season. He spent 2018 on the Broncos’ PUP list, and though he caught on with the Vikings last year, the 28-year-old target did not see game action.

Eagles Opinions: Jenkins, Backup QB, Ertz, Goedert

The Eagles will pay for deciding to wait on signing defensive back Malcolm Jenkins to an extension last season, according to Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94 WIP. Philadelphia declined to restructure Jenkins’ very team-friendly deal last offseason, but now the team faces a cap crunch on the rest of the roster as well. At 32 years old, there is reason to be concerned about giving Jenkins a large contract, but his production over the past few seasons has been on par with some of the best in the league.

Here’s some more commentary on the Eagles offseason:

  • Few teams require a better backup quarterback than the Eagles and Shorr-Parks identifies six plausible targets for Philly. Obviously, starter Carson Wentz has shown he has the potential to be an elite quarterback, but an extensive injury history will always make fans and team officials nervous about the team’s prospects if there is not a strong backup behind him. The Eagles, of course, were eliminated from the playoffs when Josh McCown had to play under center after a series of injuries at quarterback.
  • Zach Ertz expressed some apprehension about his future with the Eagles organization at the end of the season. With two years left on his contract, many were caught off guard by his cautious comments. However, Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer discusses the impact tight end Dallas Goedert could have on the Eagles (and Ertz’s) future. Goedert was selected in the 2nd round of the 2018 NFL Draft and has been an effective contributor for the Eagles. McLane points out that 49ers tight end George Kittle is set to reset the tight end market as well. The team’s confidence in Goedert combined with the increasing cost of tight ends could soon lead to Ertz’s departure.

Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins “Won’t Be Back On The Same Deal”

If the Eagles want Malcolm Jenkins to return for a seventh season in Philadelphia, it’ll cost ’em. On Monday, Jenkins told reporters that he is seeking a sizable pay bump on his next contract. 

I won’t be back on the same deal,” Jenkins said, via Zach Berman of The Athletic (on Twitter). “That won’t happen. The market is good for safeties now. I consider myself in the top tier.”

Jenkins, 32, has emerged as a defensive leader and a proven playmaker. The three-time Pro Bowler still has one year to go on his current deal, but he’s been pushing for a raise for a while now. In June, he said that he has “outplayed” his contact. Months later, the veteran is still eyeing a substantial extension.

In 2019, Jenkins tallied 80 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and eight passes defensed, though he finished without an interception for the first time since 2011.

Jenkins is set to enter the final season of his four-year, $35MM deal. That pact calls for a $10.887MM cap hit with $7.6MM in base pay. A new deal could allow the Eagles to reduce the hit in 2020, though they’ll may be wary about giving significant guarantees to a player who will turn 33 before the end of the upcoming campaign.

A “top-tier” deal for Jenkins would equate to a $10MM+ average annual salary.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Bradberry, Jenkins, Lions

Count Panthers head coach Ron Rivera among those who’d like to see cornerback James Bradberry signed long-term.

“He is a guy that I hope we do keep around because he is important to what we’ve done,” Rivera told Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer. “We’ve kind of shown that you have to be able to keep that type of a corner around.”

It’s pretty easy to surmise that Rivera is talking about former cornerback Josh Norman, who left the organization following a messy contract dispuit. Since then, Bradberry has been one of the lone consistencies among Panthers defensive backs, so it only makes sense that the coaching staff would want to keep him around. The 25-year-old is heading into the final season of his rookie contract.

“I think I’ve shown that I am capable of being a top corner in this league,” Bradberry said. “I just had to make sure I stayed on my P’s and Q’s, on top of my toes. Did a lot of film study each and every week.”

That commitment has certainly paid off. The former second-rounder had another solid season in 2018, finishing with 70 tackles, 15 passes defended, and one interception.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFL…

  • Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie played a role in convincing safety Malcolm Jenkins to attend the team’s minicamp. The veteran had previously missed the team’s voluntary workouts, and there was concern that he’d skip training camp in pursuit of a new deal. However, after talking to Lurie, Jenkins was in a better frame of mind. “One of the reasons that I feel comfortable being here,” Jenkins told Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer, “is because of my relationship with Jeff Lurie and understanding that I do feel valued and respected.”
  • The Lions did not waive Michael Roberts as an injured player, meaning there was no injury settlement, tweets Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. We learned yesterday that Roberts’ trade from the Lions to the Patriots was called off, and the tight end was subsequently waived by Detroit While a failed physical has been the assumed reason for the failed trade, Birkett notes that different teams’ doctors could have differing opinions.
  • Steelers cornerback Mike Hilton has yet to ink his exclusive rights free agent tender and continues to push the club for a new deal. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler writes that the player may have been inspired by teammate Alejandro Villanueva, who pulled off a similar move in 2017. “I can’t say if it’s better to sign now or later,” Villanueva said. “But betting on yourself, in this business, usually works.” Fowler writes that the two players have discussed the matter, although Hilton may not see the same kind of resolution as Villanueva.

Eagles Notes: Jenkins, Wentz, Staff

Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins did not report to team OTAs earlier this offseason in the hopes of renegotiating his contract. At the first day of minicamp on Tuesday, the veteran defender opened up about his desire for a new deal and said that both sides are still talking, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane tweets.

Though he wants to rework his current deal, Jenkins said he did not consider skipping minicamp, citing his relationship with owner Jeffrey Lurie and the need to be with his teammates as motivating factors for showing up.

Jenkins is under club control through 2020 thanks to a four-year, $35MM extension he signed three years ago, but after the safety market famously stagnated in 2018, it came back in 2019. Jenkins is now the 10th-highest-paid safety in the NFL in terms of total value, full guarantee, and per-year average.

“I’m happy whenever any other player gets paid,” Jenkins said, as tweeted by the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Zach Berman. “You start to look at where you are and evaluate your position, just like anybody in any job. If you feel like you’re the best at what you do and there are other people out there making more than you, you want to renegotiate your contract make sure you’re getting the value you should be. Any business and any businessperson should think like that. I think any player should think like that.

As McLane notes, Jenkins and Lurie have a solid relationship and talks are ongoing, which should signal that a new deal could be in the offing before the start of the season.

Here’s more from Philadelphia:

  • After an injury-plagued 2018 campaign, the Eagles decided to shake up their medical staff in 2019, McLane writes. The team parted way with its head physician and internist, Stephen Stache, and hired Arsh Dhanota to be the chief medical officer. Stache was in the position for just one season and the team saw a 57-percent increase in player injuries from the 2018 campaign.
  • Among the pros of Carson Wentz‘s new deal with the Eagles include the annual cap hit and his future potential, 94WIP’s Eliot Shorr-Parks writes. In his pros-and-cons list, Parks notes that his current average between $26 and 27MM a year would rank ninth among all quarterbacks, a significant value for the potential of the signal-caller, which is a top-five passer. The obvious con is the risk involved with a deal for a player riddled with injuries through his first three seasons in the league.

Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins Reports To Team

Eagles’ safety Malcolm Jenkins reported for his team physical this week and will be in attendance for the team’s mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, a source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). Furthermore, Schefter hears that Jenkins is excited to be with his teammates and is focused on the 2019 season as an Eagle.

Jenkins skipped out on OTAs in an apparent effort to get his contract reworked. It’s not yet clear whether the Eagles will meet his demands, however, since his deal doesn’t expire until the end of the 2020 season. The veteran’s $8.75MM average annual salary still ranks in the top-10 at the position, though the 31-year-old recognizes that this may be his last shot at a pay bump.

Despite a down year for the safety market in 2018, things have advanced at the position. Jenkins’ per-year salary of $8.75MM is only 63% of the $14MM average for Landon Collins and Tyrann Mathieu, who both inked new deals earlier this year. Jenkins is older than both players, but it would be difficult for Philadelphia to argue that he is only 63% as valuable.

While Jenkins might not have enough leverage for a pay bump, his importance to the club could result in an extension to take him through at least the 2021 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.