Malcolm Jenkins: ‘I feel I’ve outplayed that contract’
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Malcolm Jenkins offered some perspective on his absence from voluntary work this spring and as expected the veteran Pro Bowl safety cited a contract issue.
“As a player, I feel I’ve outplayed that contract,” Jenkins said of his current deal after practice on Tuesday..
Jenkins signed a four-year, $35 million extension with Philadelphia three years ago with $21M of that guaranteed. He is on the books for an $8.1M base salary in 2019 and a cap hit of nearly $11.4M. The guaranteed money on his current deal has dwindled, though, and includes just $1.75M in bonuses for 2020, the final year of the deal.
During that same time, the safety position as a whole has spiked from a salary perspective with lesser players like Landon Collins, Tyrann Mathieu, Lemarcus Joyner and Adrian Amos cashing in due to timing and circumstance.
"When you’re under contract, you can’t be out to be the highest paid out there, nor do I want to be, but you want to be within the ballpark of what your value is," Jenkins explained.
At 31 with the dearth of guarantees moving forward that screams extension or, at the bare minimum, a tweak of his current contract for Jenkins even if it's only guaranteeing the majority of the remaining money on his deal and perhaps offering some incentives on top of that.
While Fletcher Cox is widely regarded as the best Eagles defender, Jenkins might be the most valuable because of his ability as a chess piece on the back seven of Jim Schwartz's unit.
“For me, I think they understand the value that I bring,” said Jenkins. “I feel respected, which I think is the biggest part. As a player, you want to make sure that you are valued and that you feel respected. There is a business side of it and there are things involved there."
Nothing has been adjusted with the contract as of yet but Jenkins reported to mandatory work lining up with the first team at safety next to Andrew Sendejo, who is filling in for Rodney McLeod, Jenkins' usual running mate who is currently still working his way back from major knee surgery.
“Those things are ongoing," Jenkins said of a potential restructure. "For me, I hire an agent to have those conversations. Mr. [Jeffrey] Lurie hires the GM to handle those conversations. So, I’m here. I’m focused solely on making sure that the product on the field is the standard that I want.
"... At the end of the day, I think everybody wants to win. I love being an Eagle, I love being here, I love this team, this locker room and I want to be a part of it, and that’s why I’m here."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen