This is some very familiar territory if you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan.
Think back to the 2019 season for a second. Philadelphia Eagles fans still appreciated Zach Ertz. No one was mad at Jason Peters, and it felt like this team could make some noise in the playoffs. That’s if they could just get to the playoffs.
We were also talking about a lot of the same things last season. Is Carson Wentz a franchise quarterback? Is Jim Schwartz overrated? What is Doug Pederson doing? Should he even be calling the plays at all? Did he just fall apart without Frank Reich or what?
Are you one of those Philadelphia Eagles fans that miss Malcolm Jenkins yet?
Here’s something else that was a topic of conversation as we moved through 2019’s season. What should the Eagles do about Malcolm Jenkins? Sure, he had gotten older, but he doesn’t miss plays. He never comes off of the field. He also might have also been the best leader that this team has had since Brian Dawkins or, like him or not, Donovan McNabb.
Just watch the following demonstration presented by NFL Films that captured Jenkins during Super Bowl 52 if you need any evidence. This one’s courtesy of the NFL’s official YouTube channel.
Jenkins was a leader off of the field, on it, and if you think this team isn’t lacking without him on both sides of the ball, you’re fooling yourselves. That’s only half of the story surrounding his exit though.
Did the Philadelphia Eagles make a gross error in judgment?
As the most recent offseason approached, it was becoming increasingly evident that Jenkins, despite restructuring his deal on more than one occasion to help the Eagles out of a financial crisis, wasn’t going to be a part of Philly’s future. This team wanted Carson Wentz to be the loudest and most important voice in the locker room, and that clearly wasn’t going to happen with Jenkins around.
Hey, it happens. Never forget that Troy Vincent had more pull in the locker room at times than Andy Reid did.
Philly let ’27’ go, and he reunited with his old team the New Orleans Saints, signing a four-year, $32 million deal in the process. Wait. Philly couldn’t give this guy $8 million a year? Regardless of what your opinions are on that, here’s the skinny.
Philly struggles against the run. They gave up almost 200 yards rushing in Week 2. They’ve given up 64 points in two games, something that wouldn’t have happened with Jenkins present. Jim Schwartz called him one of the best box safeties he’s ever seen, and he was always stout versus the run. Sean Payton said letting him go was one of his biggest regrets. Wentz is indeed the leader of the Philadelphia Eagles now, but something seems to be missing.
This team doesn’t seem to rally for him. There seems to be bad body language all over the place, especially after ’11’ makes a mistake, and though the Eagles have made every move to distance themselves from everybody this team’s players have loved just as much if not more than him (you can throw Nick Foles’ name in there too), it appears this organization may have a problem on its hands. Carson Wentz is helping this team give away games, and everybody can see it. Oh, and don’t forget that you’ve got Jalen Hurts waiting in the wings. This thing is getting ugly.