The Elephant in the room all offseason long in Philadelphia was the big-time Carson Wentz extension. When was it coming? Would Howie beat Dallas and L.A to the line? How big would it be? We received answers to all of those questions on Thursday evening, but as the dust begins to settle, we’re gently reminded of another question that’s been hot on the lips of fans recently.
‘When will the Eagles extend Malcolm Jenkins?’
By this point in time, you’ve all read the arguments (not that they really needed to be emphasized). The 31-year old Safety has missed just 1.6% of defensive snaps since signing with the team in 2014 and played in every single down last year. It’s almost impossible to downplay his impact. Jenkins is the heartbeat of the Eagles defense and is scheduled to make $0 in guaranteed money over the next two years.
The Eagles had around $24.4M in cap space prior to the Carson Wentz extension and there was naturally a correlation between the pending contract agreement with Wentz, and the Malcolm Jenkins holdup. If it was all about guaranteed money, nobody really knew just how the Wentz deal was going to fizzle out. If Roseman had to cough up some extra money up front for Wentz, they may not have had enough to do the same for Jenkins.
While the finer details are still missing, the rough outline of the Carson Wentz contract is that it’s a four-year extension worth $128M. Because the Eagles already have him under contract, his new deal becomes a six-year affair, likely meaning that the Birds won’t have to pay him the big bucks until next year, a season that would’ve been his fifth-year option. But we don’t know that for definite.
There is a chance that Wentz, who is earning a total of $8M prior to the extension (just $720k base salary) would’ve pushed for some more immediate money. Until we know how the contract is laden, it’s difficult to really speculate how the Eagles will broach the Malcolm Jenkins saga, but at face value, it looks a lot more promising.
The only issue is, Mandatory Minicamp starts on June 11th. Jenkins would be fined $14,775 if he misses day one of minicamp, before that number almost doubling on day 2, and rising to $44,325 on day 3.
If the Eagles have structured the Wentz extension in a way that keeps a huge chunk of that $24.4M available, then there are no excuses for not paying Malcolm Jenkins the money he deserves.
The Safety market has evolved massively this offseason and Jenkins has watched arguably inferior players receive contractual guarantees that dwarf the contract he signed in 2016, one that was eventually re-worked.
Carson Wentz is now on the books through 2024. The Eagles have their franchise quarterback. Now it’s time to sign the soul of the defense to a contract that reflects his elite play that kept a faltering secondary from totally collapsing in on itself for three consecutive years.