Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins is not attending the team’s voluntary offseason workout program at this point in time, according to a report from the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane.
Jenkins has been in Philadelphia, but he has chosen instead to work out at unspecified facilities and fields, sources close to the safety said. It’s unclear why he has opted to stay away. Jenkins and his representation have declined to be interviewed. The Eagles don’t comment on players for missing non-mandatory training. But his nonattendance does raise the question of whether Jenkins believes he has outperformed his contract and is looking for a restructuring. Even if that weren’t the case, it’s a topic worth exploring, especially after several comparable safeties signed unprecedented contracts this offseason.
Jenkins is well within his rights to skip voluntary workouts. But it’s not a total non-story when one of the team’s defensive captains and most vocal leaders — whom has never previously missed offseason workouts — decides to not show up with the rest of the team.
As McLane suggests, it’s possible Jenkins could be trying to make a statement about his contract. Here’s a snapshot of his current deal, per Over The Cap:
Jenkins’ average annual value of $8.75 million currently ranks 10th among all NFL safeties. He could very well feel that he’s underpaid in that regard. And he’d have a strong case.
Jenkins has been an incredibly value player for the Eagles, both on and off the field. He hasn’t missed a single game since signing with the team in 2014. Heck, he didn’t even miss a single defensive SNAP during the 2018 season.
In addition to being a versatile defender (snaps at safety, nickel, cornerback, and even linebacker), Jenkins is invaluable as a leader in the locker room. He played a big part in the Eagles winning Super Bowl LII and he helped spark a defensive turnaround in 2018. You can pinpoint his interception against the Giants in Week 12 as the moment the season stopped going off the rails.
The Eagles could be reluctant to give Jenkins, who turns 32 in December, more money in order to avoid establishing a precedent of paying players extra when they already have a contract in place. But very few players have gone above and beyond like Jenkins has done. Alienating one of the team’s most important players would not be a good call.
To be clear, Jenkins has not publicly expressed any discontent with his contract situation. Maybe he just wants to work out on his own as he enters his 11th season in the NFL.
But there’s probably more to it than that.
We’ll soon see if Jenkins continues his absence from the NovaCare Complex. The Eagles’ first OTA practice is set for Tuesday, May 21.
Should the Eagles give Malcolm Jenkins more money?
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