Ever since that curious report about the Eagles offering Malcolm Jenkins in a trade for Brandin Cooks emerged over the weekend, there hasn’t been a strong denial that it happened. That is, until now.
Speaking in a radio appearance on Wednesday morning, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter explained the story behind that rumor.
"Let me explain to you what happened there," Schefter told 97.5 The Fanatic. "The Saints WANTED Malcolm Jenkins. The Eagles did not want to give up Malcolm Jenkins. OK? So did his name comes up in those talks? Yes, it did. It came up driven from the Saints. The Eagles did not want to part with Malcolm Jenkins."
"Now, if a trade eventually got worked out, which it never did, for Philadelphia’s standpoint … any Brandin Cooks deal in Philadelphia was going to have to involve Malcolm Jenkins. And Philly just wasn’t willing to go to where it was to offer enough to get Brandin Cooks. They just did not want to part with Malcolm Jenkins. But yes, New Orleans wanted him, that’s correct."
When further asked if the Saints wanted at least a second-round pick and Jenkins in exchange for Cooks, Schefter said "that is correct."
For as badly as the Eagles needed a receiver, giving up Jenkins wouldn’t have made much sense for them. Jenkins is a very good player on the team and a leader in the locker room. Trading him would have created $6 million dead money for only $1 million in cap savings. Jenkins being gone would also have meant the Eagles would have only ONE sure-fire starting defensive back in their secondary ... no cornerbacks and only one safety: Rodney McLeod. And the Eagles would have been in a spot with one less draft pick to help fill those needs.
The Eagles didn’t end up getting Cooks. But they also didn’t end up having to trade Jenkins or a pick to land in Alshon Jeffery. The team merely signed the best free agent wide receiver on the market to a one-year prove it deal. In other words, the Eagles fixed their wide receiver problem (for 2017, at least) while holding onto one of their best players and a draft pick that can be used to address other roster holes.