Malcolm Jenkins authored a post for The Player's Tribune on Saturday morning, and in it, he made one thing very clear -- he didn't want to move on from the Eagles.
All Eagles fans should read the whole thing, but one part Jenkins writes sticks out:
I sincerely never wanted to leave Philadelphia.
Let’s tackle that second part first. Forget everything else you’ve heard, and just trust me on this: Money has NEVER been my motivator. For me, it’s always been LEGACY that I value most.
And it’s no secret that I wanted a new deal — no secret that I felt like I deserved one. Not so I could be the highest-paid player at my position (even though I regard myself as being of that caliber), but so I could cement my legacy in Philadelphia forever. I wanted a deal that showed me that my sacrifices to the game have been recognized. I’m no idiot. I know money is tied to timing, market value, age, the draft, and so on. But legacy? That’s tied to the player, and to the name on the back of his jersey.
Jenkins goes on to thank Jeffrey Lurie, Doug Pederson, his teammates and the fans. One name noticeably left off? Howie Roseman.
The further away the Eagles decision gets to move on from Jenkins, the more clear it becomes that their decision had nothing to do with money, and they didn't have much of a desire to keep Jenkins. Jenkins isn't gone because he wanted top-three safety money at 32-years old or $14-million a year. He is gone because the Eagles didn't want him back. That was proven by the deal Jenkins signed with the New Orleans Saints, a deal the Eagles could have easily matched if they wanted.
Whether that is the right decision remains to be seen, but there is no doubt Jenkins is going to be hard to replace as he has been arguably the Eagles most important defender since joining the team in 2014. He has played in every single game since signing with the team, totaling 515 tackles, 11 interceptions and 12 forced fumbles. He hasn't missed a single meaningful snap.
The team's current plan is to replace Jenkins with Jalen Mills, who has never played safety in the NFL.