Eagles Ink Safety Malcolm Jenkins on Day One of Free Agency
The Eagles have signed safety Malcolm Jenkins to a three-year, $16.25 million contract - The deal includes $8.5 million in guaranteed money.
The Eagles hope Jenkins can help fill one of the biggest areas of need, the safety position has been the biggest hole on the Eagles roster since Brian Dawkins left. Jenkins was one of the second-tier safeties available, and while the Eagles have been linked to both T.J. Ward and Jairus Byrd at points this offseason, it is unclear if that will take those players out of the running.
One thing is for sure, character played a big role in the Eagles targeting Jenkins.
“Malcolm is someone we’ve had our eye on for quite a while," said Eagles general manager Howie Roseman. "He has been a productive player his entire football career, both in New Orleans and at Ohio State. Everything you hear about Malcolm as a person is true. He was a two-time defensive captain with the Saints and is a high character player. We are excited to add a guy like that to the culture we have established here.”
They've missed in the draft with second round picks Nate Allen and Jaiquawn Jarrett. They have missed in free agency O.J. Atogwe, Pat Chung, Kenny Phillips, Marlin Jackson leading them to have to reach out to a more proven player in free agency - insert Jenkins.
Was he the biggest fish in the free agent pond? Certainly not.
ESPN NFL analyst and former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski joined me on the Sports Bash today and was not a fan of the Jenkins move.
"Quite honestly, I did not like the move," Jaworski admitted.
The 26-year-old is capable of playing both safety positions, slot corner and even outside corner in a pinch, but Jenkins isn't Byrd as Eagles fans wanted and might going with a cheaper alternative might mean the Eagles defense is still left without an identity.
“We really liked Malcolm’s versatility," explained Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. 'He can line up at either safety spot, can come in and make a tackle and can play man-to-man as well. I had a chance to study him on tape leading up to the playoff game and really liked what I saw. He’s a sharp kid and is ultra-competitive. We are really happy to have him in Philadelphia.”
Are the Eagles set at safety? The team released Patrick Chung earlier today, which means now just Jenkins, Earl Wolff and Keelan Johnson are the only safeties on the Eagles current roster - meaning they might add another one via free agency.
One name to keep an eye on; Chris Clemons of the Dolphins.