NFL insider Adam Schefter joined the 97.5 The Fanatic Morning Show with Marc Farzetta, Tra Thomas, and Bob Cooney on Wednesday morning to touch on some newsy Philadelphia Eagles topics. Here’s a look at what he had to say along with some thoughts of my own.
THE LATEST ON MALCOLM JENKINS
On Tuesday morning, Schefter tweeted that “Malcolm Jenkins has been a no show this off-season - with no end in sight.” Schefter echoed that sentiment this morning.
FARZETTA: What’s the latest on Jenkins?
SCHEFTER: “Look, again, we’ve said this before, we’ll say it again. I just think that that’s an unsettled, an unresolved contractual situation. I don’t think that surprises anybody in the Philadelphia area. I think the Eagles organization is not surprised by this. I think that they know this is going to be an issue that will carry into and beyond next week. And I personally, my own sense is, reading between the lines, I don’t believe [Jenkins] will be there [at mandatory minicamp]. We’ll see whether or not that turns out to be accurate. But I don’t think we’ll see him next week for the opening of mandatory minicamp.”
Jenkins be fined a total of $88,650 if he misses next week’s minicamp (June 11 through June 13). His absence could send a message that he’s really serious about wanting a new deal.
If the Eagles and Jenkins are still at an impasse by the time training camp begins in late July, Jenkins risks being fined $40,000 for each day of missed practice. He’d also get docked one week’s regular season salary for each preseason game missed. Those would be some hefty penalties.
I’d think Jenkins and the Eagles will have something resolved before training camp begins. There’s still a good amount of time to work things out. As for minicamp, though, it seems like Jenkins could very well miss that.
More Schefter talk on the Jenkins situation below.
COONEY: “Is the problem he just wants guaranteed money? Or is it the fact he want something totally re-negotiated?
SCHEFTER: “I don’t know the answer. Again, if we just look around the league right now, you see it all the time. Where, basically, all these wide receivers want a deal. Like, Michael Thomas wants a new deal in New Orleans. And Julio Jones wants a new deal in Atlanta. And Amari Cooper wants a new deal in Dallas. Trent Williams isn’t in Washington. In Detroit, Damon Harrison, the defensive tackle, and cornerback Darius Slay didn’t show up for mandatory minicamp. They want new contracts. We are at a time of year where, basically, if a player’s not happy about something, this is his way of letting it be known that he wants the issue addressed. And I think that Malcolm Jenkins — who’s been at everything always, who’s always been there, who’s always been a team guy — the fact that he’s not there, just that stance, says ‘I’m not happy.’ When he doesn’t show up — somebody you can count on, somebody who’s been a rock, somebody who’s been a leader — that tells you that all is not right there. And so, basically, this is his time to go ask for some sort of new contract. Some sort of new money. We see this safety deals getting done all the time. And that’s the nature of the business in football. And that’s what ever player has to wrestle with. ‘Do I want to sign a contract now?’ like Darius Slay did a couple years ago, ‘or do I want to wait until the end of the contract and try to become the highest paid at my position?’ or whatever it might be. And I don’t know that … as short as the shelf life is, the span of a football career is, it’s hard when you’re a player … you can’t have your cake and eat it too. I mean, some players have, but most haven’t. And you can’t just redo your contract at any point, you can’t always be the highest paid player. And that’s a tough part when you’re playing only four, five, seven, eight, nine years, whatever it may be. That’s what the players are going to deal with. And so, I think Malcolm Jenkins knows … he feels like he’s underpaid. He wants to be paid more. I don’t know whether that’s more this year, I don’t know whether that’s a signing bonus, I don’t know that’s guaranteed. He wants more money however you want to look at it.
COONEY: If you take the organization out of it, meaning the Philadelphia Eagles, and the specific player, Malcolm Jenkins, out of it, and you just put on the table that it’s a 31-year-old that hasn’t really missed any snaps in five years, that is instrumental to the team, but has the contract that he has, who would usually win this battle, in the experience that you have?
SCHEFTER: Well, the best way of doing it is that nobody wins it. Everybody gives up a little something. Like, maybe Malcolm wants $100 more [for example]. Maybe the Eagles don’t want to give him a dollar more. So maybe somehow the Eagles give up $30. That’s the idea of all these negotiations. And sometimes it’s such a position that, if you’re the team, it’s really hard to give into a player. And that’s the battle that all these teams weigh. Now, Malcolm Jenkins, 31 at towards the end of his career … I think that he feels he just wants to get paid now while he can. He views himself, obviously, as a valued member of this team. And wants to be treated as such. Not that he wasn’t going to be but, again, he views himself as even more valuable than he was on the books for, shall we say.
THE CYPPY CUP FACTOR
Schefter was first to report that veteran free agent safety Johnathan Cyprien was visiting the Eagles on Tuesday. Is that workout related to Jenkins’ absence? Schefter doesn’t think so.
FARZETTA: How much do you think [the Johnathan Cyprien workout] is a cause and effect of Jenkins having some choppy waters, if you will […] and how much of a correlation is there, if anything?
SCHEFTER: I don’t believe there is any correlation between those two. I believe that the Eagles are always in the market to find as much talent as they can, get as many good players as they can. And I don’t believe that they’re saying to themselves, ‘Boy, what if Malcolm doesn’t show up? What do we do? Let’s go bring in Johnathan Cyprien.’
I think Johnathan Cyprien is a guy who’s coming off an [ACL] injury, who’s been a good player before in the past at various points. He’s on the market now. Let’s go take a look. I think they’re always looking to add talent. I don’t think that’s connected to Malcolm Jenkins in any way, shape, or form.
As of this publish time, Cyprien has not signed with the Eagles. It’s possible he left Philly without a deal. That doesn’t mean the Eagles won’t ultimately sign him. But they might ultimately pass on Cyprien.
Signing Cyprien would hardly give the Eagles a sure-fire Jenkins replacement. With that said, Cyprien could play the box safety role that Jenkins sometimes lines up in.
We’ll see if the Eagles choose to bolster their safety and/or linebacker talent — depending on how they plan to use him — by signing Cyprien.
CARSON WENTZ CONTRACT COMING?
Schefter previously said he believes the Eagles will sign Wentz to a long-term contract extension before the 2019 season. Schefter’s belief has not changed. He said that people around the league feel it’s in the best interest of both sides to get a deal done relatively soon.
FARZETTA: Any update on Carson Wentz, still confident something gets done before training camp [or] around that time?
SCHEFTER: You know, I think it’s funny. I was talking to some people yesterday around the league. And they were saying that it was in the best interest of the Eagles *and* Carson Wentz to do that deal now. And it’s different than some other quarterbacks in this position because Carson has had the injury history. And so, if you’re him — you could say it for any player, really — but what if you do have another back injury? Then your value really takes a hit. And if you’re the Eagles, what if he does go out and prove Louis Riddick right and win MVP? Well, again, that’s why it’s in the best interest of both sides to probably do something now — “now” meaning this month, next month, the month after, or before the season, sometime this summer. I still think that they will figure out something at some point before the  season begins, to give Carson Wentz an extension. And I think that that’s the smart thing for both sides. Now, we’ll see whether or not they both can make it happen.
The Eagles would be wise to sign Wentz to a multi-year deal ASAP. He’s looking healthy and great in OTAs. He’s poised for a very strong 2019 season, especially with all this new offensive talent around him.
It’s not about trying to get Wentz at an absolute bargain. He knows that his value isn’t as high right now as it would be if he goes out and has a stellar season. But there has to be a price the Eagles can reach that would both 1) make Wentz happy now and 2) give the Eagles a rate that’ll look relatively favorable as quarterback contracts only continue to become even more expensive.
So, do it, Eagles. Sign Wentz. And pay Malcolm, too.