It's the end of an era in Philadelphia. When NFL players thought of the Eagles, one of the first names that comes to mind is Malcolm Jenkins -- the longtime safety, locker room leader and community activist. Jenkins' time with the organization has now met its end though, with the Eagles announcing they've opted to not pick up his contract for the 2020 season. The 32-year-old will now become an unrestricted free agent when the new league year opens on March 18.
"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 an official 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."
Jenkins began his career as a former 14th-overall pick for the New Orleans Saints in 2009, and spent several seasons with the club before joining the Eagles in 2014 on a three-year, $16.25 million contract before going on to sign a four-year extension in 2016 worth $35 million. He'd make good on his stay in Philadelphia, a high-character player who garnered his first-ever Pro Bowl nod the following season and two more over the next four years. With two Super Bowl wins under his belt and plenty of traction still left on his tires, there will undoubtedly be a strong market to land Jenkins' services.
For the Eagles, he started in all 96 games in which he was available, missed only 96 snaps over six seasons, and reeled in 11 interceptions that include four pick-sixes to go along with 515 combined tackles. His final season with the Eagles wasn't his best, but it was still productive, and especially given his age.
Jenkins was set to earn a base salary of $7.6 million in 2020, but the Eagles have other plans. Jalen Mills and move him to safety, waving goodbye to one of their leading defensive players in the process.