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Eagles turn the page on Malcolm Jenkins by declining to pick up his 2020 contract option

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Wow.

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles are “turning the page” on veteran safety and defensive captain Malcolm Jenkins. The team officially announced they’re not picking up his contract option for 2020 that was due on Wednesday, March 18.

Malcolm Jenkins has been an outstanding player for us and we are proud of everything he accomplished both on and off the field during his time in Philadelphia. Malcolm was a great teammate and leader, as well as one of the toughest players to ever play in our city. After thorough discussion with Malcolm and his agent, Ben Dogra, both sides agreed on the difficult decision to turn the page on what was an incredible six-year relationship. We wish Malcolm and his family all the best as he pursues his next opportunity.

Wow.

As a result of this move, the Eagles gain $4.8 million in cap space (with $6.1 million to account for in dead money.)

NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark reports the Eagles wanted Jenkins back but couldn’t make it work.

Make no mistake: this is a massive loss for the Eagles, both on and off the field. Jenkins was incredibly value to this organization.

On one hand, I give Howie Roseman credit for not being overly sentimental. Earlier this offseason, he admitted that being too loyal to players was a “weakness” of his. Roseman talked about needing to get younger. Moving on from Jenkins, who turns 33 this year and was demanding a new contract, might just be one of those tough decisions that hurts to make but is ultimately for the best of the team.

On the other hand, Jenkins has been an incredibly important contributor to the Eagles’ success. He checked all the boxes in terms of leadership, durability, versatility, talent ... you name it. He’s not going to be so easily replaced. Roseman once admitted the Eagles’ apparent struggles in correctly identifying safety talent when the organization didn’t retain Brian Dawkins. The team could be going down a road where Jenkins’ absence is really felt.

Speaking of, the Eagles are extremely thin at safety with Jenkins gone. The Eagles reportedly re-signed Jalen Mills with the intention of playing him at safety ... a position he hasn’t played since his college career at LSU. Incumbent starting free safety Rodney McLeod is a free agent. Fringe NFL talents Rudy Ford and Marcus Epps are the only two other safeties under contract.

It’s really tough to see Jenkins go. He was a tremendous player and person for this team since signing with Philly as a free agent back in 2014. The Eagles don’t win Super Bowl LII without him.

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