Since arriving in 2016, Malcolm Jenkins has been the heartbeat of the Philadelphia Eagles. His value to this team is felt in many different ways, his play on the field is just half of what Jenkins brings to Philly. The 3-time pro bowler is one of the best safeties in the NFL, and deserves to be compensated as such. The Eagles will have a-lot of big decisions to make this offseason, the easiest of those is extending Malcolm Jenkins. Here are 3 reasons why:
A signing from the Chip Kelly era, Jenkins is a true leader of men. His attitude is perfect for the city he plays in. Since arriving in 2016, Head Coach Doug Pederson has valued Jenkins as the undisputed leader of this team. When Pederson was hired, he was adamant about changing the culture to that of the Andy Reid days. A culture bred on accountability and a family atmosphere. Malcolm Jenkins has established that culture and mindset from the jump, and I believe if the Eagles dont extend him the void in leadership would be felt in the locker room.
The secondary in Philadelphia has been a meme since Andy Reid left. The Chip Kelly and Doug Pederson eras have been filled with failed draft picks and mediocre free agent signings. With 2019 being the tipping point, the front office has made it known that improving the secondary is a huge area of focus. With fellow safety Rodney McLeod becoming a free agent and the Eagles plans to move on from cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills, having to replace all of them would be a tall task. If the Eagles are ready to move on from Malcolm, they picked the wrong offseason to do it.
The narrative with Eagles fans is that Jenkins has regressed due to age after turning 32. The general fan sees his Madden rating drop along with the opinion of one ill-advised pundit and comes to the conclusion that Jenkins isn’t still a top safety in this league. That just isn’t the case. Although Malcolm didn’t have a career year, his 2019 season rivaled that of some of the best. Finishing top five in Snaps, Tackles, Tackles for Loss, Forced Fumbles, QB Hits, and INTs among all safeties. In 5 of the 6 stat categories Jenkins finished either 1st or 2nd. His play on the field has not seen a decline. His versatility is another huge asset to the Eagles defense, allowing them to play him all over the field.
The Eagles shouldn’t hesitate when it comes to extending Jenkins. Its a real no brainier considering everything he brings to the table. His play is among the top safeties in the league, he is the leader of this team, and the expected turnover in the secondary couldn’t survive losing him. All 3 factors should make this an easy decision for the front office, as the should look to sign Jenkins and let him retire as an Eagle.