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Eagles Have ‘No Hard Feelings’ Over Malcolm Jenkins’ Declaration

"None of this is a surprise"

Malcolm Jenkins #27 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on prior to the game Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium
Mark Brown/Getty Images

Malcolm Jenkins didn't mince words on Monday when he said flatly that he would not play out the final year on his current contract. 

I wondered how that declaration would play with the Eagles' front office. So on Wednesday, I got a chance to ask Howie Roseman about it and if those words would affect future negotiations. 

None of this is a surprise," said Roseman, who stressed how much communication there is between the team and its players. "It's not like it's coming out of left field and we don't understand what they are feeling and what they are doing. I understand. I understand all of our players.

"All of our players are trying to do what's best for their family and trying to get as much as they can. It's a short shelf life in the National Football League, so there's no hard feelings at all.

For what it's worth, Jenkins before the 2019 season wasn't shy about his desire for a new contract and still played out the season on his old one. You'll remember that Jenkins missed voluntary OTAs but returned for all the mandatory stuff and said he wanted a new deal. 

And he has a case. 

During his six years with the Eagles, Jenkins has been incredibly durable and versatile, playing over 98 percent of defensive snaps at several different positions. He's also made three Pro Bowl teams and has been the unquestioned leader on the Eagles' defense. 

But Jenkins is also 32 and Roseman on Wednesday stressed the importance of infusing the roster with youth. There has to be a balance, though. While the Eagles need to get younger, they will also need some veterans to lead those young players. 

So it would still make plenty of sense for the Eagles to find a way to keep Jenkins around in 2020 and beyond. 

"We're not going to talk about contracts with any players," Roseman said. "But it's important that we have discussions with our players and communicate with them. We obviously understood where Malcolm was when it came to training camp and the conversations we have.

"I mean, what an incredible Eagle, what an incredible player, what an incredible person he is, and has been for us. But after that, you know, obviously we'll just kind of keep those conversations between us."

So what would it take for Jenkins to stay in Philadelphia? Well, Reuben Frank tried to answer that question earlier this week in depth.

When I look at it, I think a three-year contract worth around $35 million would make sense. That would put Jenkins just outside the top five in value in average yearly salary for safeties. And the Eagles could include a nice signing bonus and over $20 million in guarantees, which would allow them to backload the deal if they choose. 

Jenkins would get some cash in his pocket with a little more stability and the Eagles wouldn't have to break the bank for an aging player. 

Either way, it seems like Jenkins and the Eagles have a pretty transparent approach to these negotiations. Even if this ends, it seems like neither side wants it to end on bad terms. That's why I'm expecting both sides figure out a way to get it done. 

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