Eagles Release Malcolm Jenkins

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

Minutes after new broke that the Eagles would be bringing back Jalen Mills as a safety, even more major news broke.

Field Yates of the ESPN broke the news that the Eagles would not be picking up the 2020 option for safety Malcolm Jenkins, making him a free agent.

The move comes as a bit of a shock as Jenkins was a team leader for the past six seasons.

There were rumblings that Eagles GM Howie Roseman was going to be shaking things up and that he wanted to exhibit control and erase Chip Kelly from the books. Jenkins was one of the few remaining pieces brought in by Kelly.

The Eagles almost certainly would have kept Jenkins around had he not been demanding a new contract. The demand would be the main cause of his release.

Jenkins registered 406 tackles, 11 interceptions, 12 forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and five and a half sacks in his six seasons with the Eagles.

Not to mention he played 6,818 of 6,908 defensive snaps during those seasons.

He served as an elite safety, but his play suffered in 2019 until he got hot during the final quarter of the season.

A Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee, Jenkins was a leader both in the locker room and in the community. The loss of his leadership may be a major reason why the Eagles opted to bring Jalen Mills back.

The team reportedly attempted to trade the safety, but found no buyers, according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

While it will be no easy task to replace Jenkins, it may have been the correct move to release him, but that would be dependent on the contract he was demanding. If the 32-year-old was looking for a long-term deal that would also make him one of the highest paid safeties, the contract would have become an albatross, likely sooner than later.

The move leaves the Eagles with Jalen Mills, Marcus Epps and Rudy Ford as the only options at the position with Jimmie Ward, Justin Simmons and Anthony Harris already signed.

The move also saves $4,776,000 in cap space.

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