Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins wants a new contract. Looking at his overall value, does Jenkins deserve the pay raise?
Almost every team in the NFL has to deal with a situation like this. A situation where a veteran player who has been performing reasonably well wants a new contract before their old one is even up. Sure, it’s easy to say ‘honor the contract’ and move on from any further negotiations until the initial contract is about to retire, but the NFL is much more complicated than that.
Players know their worth. And when they outperform their contracts, they would like to be compensated based off of that. Teams can cut players whenever they want without thinking twice about honoring the commitment — so players should be able to make their case for wanting a pay raise before their contract is officially up as well. For the Philadelphia Eagles, that’s percisely what they are dealing with when it comes to veteran safety, Malcolm Jenkins.
Details of the situation
Being that we are in the final stages of voluntary activities, no player could be officially holding out from practice. Once mandatory minicamp starts next week though, that’s when we will find out who truly wants a new contract or not. Guys like Lane Johnson and Alshon Jeffery haven’t been present at voluntary OTAs, but they are expected to be back next week for minicamp. Malcolm Jenkins, however, is expected to miss those mandatory sessions as a holdout ensues.
Why is Jenkins holding out? It’s simple — he wants new money. It’s been a few years since he’s signed his deal, and the safety market has been generously inflated over time. Being that Jenkins is one of the better safeties in the league, he wants to make sure that he is getting paid fairly over the next couple of years. So far, the Eagles have yet to discuss the situation entirely, but Jenkins’ teammates are confident that the front office will resolve the situation.
The state of the contract
Jenkins joined the Eagles through Free Agency back in 2014. Since joining, he has yet to miss a game. It was clear that Jenkins was one of the more valuable players on the team during that era, so in 2016 they re-signed him to a new, long-term deal. While Jenkins is on contract through 2020, he is looking to get a revised agreement, which works out best for the player and the team.
The Eagles have the funds to give Jenkins what he wants, but it seems as though they are waiting to get a bigger deal done. Since Carson Wentz’s contract is up next season as well, the Eagles want to get their most significant extension of the offseason out of the way.
Then, they will probably look to fix up the contract situation with Jenkins. However, they shouldn’t wait to take care of Jenkins. Right now, Jenkins is the 9th highest paid player on the Eagles, which is shocking considering all he’s contributed over the last few years.
Since the Eagles have paid some of their other veterans generously over time, they shouldn’t hesitate to get a new deal done with Jenkins, despite his age being 31. So being that Jenkins is the 9th highest paid player on the team, where does he actually rank in true value? Let’s evaluate.