There’s no denying the fact that Malcolm Jenkins has been the heart and soul of this defense since he arrived in Philadelphia in 2014.
He hasn’t missed a start in his six seasons with the team.

This past season marked the fifth time in his six seasons that he played every defensive snap in the season. Fans even saw Jenkins position himself on special teams when the team needed help with all the injuries the team suffered throughout the season.

So, why is the story about how Jenkins may not be an Eagle next season?

When asked about his future after this past Sunday’s Wild Card loss to the Seahawks, Jenkins told the media that unless he gets a new contract, he won’t be wearing the midnight green jerseys next season.

“I’m not one to beg,” Jenkins said. “I am a very prideful person, so I feel like what I put out there this year, what I put on tape, what I’ve given to this team is more than enough. I can’t do anymore. So for me, I feel good about that; that it’ll be good enough for me to go into this offseason with certainty that I’ll be fine.”

This is scary news for Eagle fans as they know the importance of having him on the team especially after the secondary has struggled to keep up with the front seven in the past two seasons. He was asked to do a lot in defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s system as he recorded 81 tackles, eight pass deflections, 2.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery.

Currently, Jenkins is in the final year of a five-year, $35 million deal where he is expected to make about $7.6 million this upcoming season. The thinking is Jenkins wants to be played like one of the top safeties in the league which would be around $14 million per year. Bears safety Eddie Jackson is the highest-paid safety in the league as he makes $14.6 million per season.

This brings up an interesting situation for the Eagles that has to make a decision on what they want to do with him. The Eagles have been known in the past for asking veterans for taking pay cuts so that they can sign more players to help the roster. Here is a case where, being the old veteran, he is asking the team to pay him more.

We saw Brandon Graham get a new contract despite being one of the oldest players on the team as well so that should give fans some hope there. Another key piece of news, general manager Howie Roseman said that Alshon Jeffery took a pay cut for 2020 in exchange for the team to keep him on the roster. That could help Jenkins’ chances of staying on the roster.

There are glaring issues with the roster in terms of questions over the receiving core and the cornerbacks. The team will need to find a way to fill those holes, plus try to fix Jenkins’ contract to give him the money he wants. It would be hard to believe that Roseman wouldn’t find a way to get him back, but at the same time, he is looking to make the team younger so they could part ways with Jenkins.

It would outrage fans to see Jenkins go as he is important to the defense. Roseman and the organization have a big decision to make in terms of how many changes they want to make to a playoff team and decide if they want to let Jenkins walk to another team.

Featured Image: Steven Ryan/Getty Images
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