Eagles’ Carson Wentz Talks About Malcolm Jenkins’ Departure

Malcolm Jenkins expected to sign with Saints

Getty Malcolm Jenkins was originally drafted by the Saints in 2009

It’s been nearly two months since Malcolm Jenkins bolted town for New Orleans. The Saints handed the Pro Bowl safety the contract he wanted and there were no hard feelings.

While many Eagles fans angrily lamented the loss of the team’s defensive leader, arguably the spiritual rock of the entire squad, GM Howie Roseman stuck to his guns. He went out in free agency and signed Will Parks as an insurance policy at safety. The franchise also gave Rodney McLeod a contract extension while announcing that longtime cornerback Jalen Mills would be switching positions.

Those moves should maintain productivity at the safety position. But is it enough to replace Jenkins’ leadership? Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz thinks so and revealed that it’s time for new leaders to emerge.

“He was a great leader for us. And I can’t say enough good things about Malcolm and what he did not only for this team and for this organization but what he did for the City of Philadelphia,” Wentz told NBC10’s John Clark. “He was a great ambassador for us and I have nothing but respect for him.”

“But we feel that we have a lot of leaders and we’ll have some pieces as well, and we’re confident in some of these new guys that will be able to step up and be leaders as well,” Wentz continued. “We feel there are a lot of really positive voices and positive influences within the veteran group that we have on both sides of the ball. So I’m really confident that guys will step up and assume their leadership roles.”

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Eagles Attempted to Trade Jenkins to New Orleans in 2017

File this one under the best thing that never happened. Prior to the 2017 season, the Eagles reportedly tried to trade Jenkins to the Saints for receiver Brandin Cooks. Roseman was offered a third- and a fourth-round pick, per Pro Football Talk.

The Eagles went on to hoist the Lombardi Trophy that year and Cooks wound up in New England, the same Cooks that Jenkins literally knocked out of the Super Bowl. There is a good chance the Eagles don’t win the franchise’s first Super Bowl without Jenkins patrolling the secondary. And there is a really good chance they don’t win without that jaw-rattling, game-defining hit.

Here is how Jenkins described the moment in an article he penned for The Players Tribune:

What’s my favorite moment as an Eagle? Parading down Broad Street as WORLD CHAMPIONS is up there….. but I was a little too drunk to remember all of it. Putting that hit on Brandin Cooks — the one that sent shock waves throughout Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, all at once — is definitely up there….. but I still have a moment I like more.

In 2018, Jenkins sat down with NBC Sports’ Barrett Brooks and described the trade rumors. He knew the Saints wanted him and no doubt kept it in the back of his mind heading into free agency in 2020. He ended up inking a four-year deal with the Saints worth $32 million, plus $16.25 million guaranteed.

“It didn’t bother me. I had a talk with Howie that night the rumors came out,” Jenkins said in 2018. “I was aware the Saints wanted me back prior to all this conversation. I know it’s Howie’s job that if someone is trying to make a deal, that he has to listen to it, especially if it sounds like it would benefit the team.”

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