In this Eagles era, Malcolm Jenkins has defined the very meaning of culture that the organization has been searching to establish. In the NFL’s current state, its become a trend for players to hold out for bigger contracts. This offseason has been very revealing for both the NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles in that regard.
Currently, players like Melvin Gordon, Ezekiel Elliot, and Michael Thomas are holding out for big contracts. Jadeveon Clowney is another not expected to training camp due to the Texans’ not offering him a new deal. It all makes sense, these warriors put their bodies and future health on the line every Sunday. Malcolm Jenkins seems to be the outlier in all of this.
Look at what all five of these players have in common. They’re all perennial Pro Bowl talents playing for possible Super Bowl contenders. They all hold a very significant importance to their team’s structure and ability to win. Jenkins is the oldest of the five, he’ll be 32 in December. He’s also the only one that puts winning and his teammates in front of his contract issues.
To be fair, the majority of the five players mentioned above are either finishing up their rookie deals or exiting a past extension. Still though, in a league where championships are never guaranteed, the miscommunication between a player and the front office could jeopardize the teams possible Super Bowl window.
This is where the Eagles and Jenkins shine. Malcolm is a stand-up guy on and off the field, who’s been in the league for 11 seasons but still manages to move around as if it was his first. His importance to the team is undeniable, a vocal leader who may have saved a depleted secondary last season by approaching Jim Schwartz to help simplify the defensive play calls.
His off the field work is also incredible, even after facing scrutiny from the likes of Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick, Malcolm has continued to fight against injustice. Last season, before the Eagles-Panthers game, Panthers safety Eric Reid approached Malcolm due to a falling out in the player’s coalition. According to Reid, Jenkins overthrew Kaepernick and Reid, leaving the two with a bad taste in their mouth. Still though, at that moment, Jenkins held his composure while Reid provoked and even called him out to the media.
That alone is a testament to Malcolm’s character.
Now in a season where Jenkins has witnessed their franchise QB receive a massive extension, he’s holding out hope with character. No one knows what the front office has promised the defensive captain but its evident how much trust he has with the Eagles’ brass. Not only did he show up to Training Camp, but he was taking second-team nickel duties on top of his regular workload yesterday in relief of Cre’Von LeBlanc. He didn’t have to, but again, Jenkins went above and beyond to help the team. Earl Thomas risked his career last season in a similar fashion and ended up leaving the team during free agency.
With so much on the line this season, the Eagles need the ironman safety to lead the way. They also should pay the man what he is worth as they have done to majority of the roster no matter the age. A perfect example would be an aging left tackle, Jason Peters. As Malcolm continues to practice with the team, I can’t see why they won’t reach an agreement, there must be something there already since he’s shown confidence in both Lurie and Roseman.
The team needs Jenkins to play at his highest level if they want to reach the promised land again, but they also need to show up on their end. Until then, one can only admire the culture that’s been developed within the Eagles organization. A culture that hasn’t led to any negative issues coming to light. The team is taking their every move day by day for one ultimate goal and that’s to win.
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