Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins focused on football this week

Ed Benkin
June 11, 2019 - 9:55 pm
Aug 30, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Malcolm Jenkins (27) walks out of the tunnel after the national anthem before a game against the New York Jets at Lincoln Financial Field.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — It was no secret why Malcolm Jenkins skipped the Eagles voluntary workouts this past month. Jenkins had no problem confirming his situation after day one of the Eagles minicamp.

The Eagles gathered for the first day of the three-day camp on Tuesday. Jenkins was on the field with his teammates for the first time this off-season. 

While OTAs are voluntary, it was clear Jenkins wanted to send a message about his contract situation. Several safeties around the NFL received raises, and Jenkins is now the ninth highest paid player at his position.  

However, Jenkins downplayed reports that he was considering skipping minicamp and talked about the importance of being with his teammates this week.

"I want to get back around the guys," said Jenkins. "I want to be here and play ball and participate. Obviously, it's the mandatory portion of the off-season knowing that when we come back, we're going to be rocking and rolling."

Jenkins said there have been conversations about his contract that are ongoing. The safety signed a contract a few years ago and believes his level of play and the market value has surpassed his current deal.  

Jenkins knows that there are two sides to this story, so he will continue to do his work on the field while his agent talks to Howie Roseman.

"There is also a business side of this game," Jenkins said. "Those things come with negotiations, but that has nothing to do with what I put out on the field. I'll continue to do that. I've hired an agent to handle those conversations."

The best news for Eagles fans is that both sides are going through an amicable negotiation. There is a mutual respect between Jenkins and the front office and each side understands the other's position.  

It hardly seems to be a situation in which and ugly dispute or a war of words is on the horizon.

"I think they understand the value that I bring," said Jenkins. "I feel respected, which I think is the biggest part as a player. You want to make sure you are valued and that you feel respected. At the end of the day, I think everybody wants to win. I love being an Eagle. I love being on this team and in this locker room and I want to be a part of it."

One of the other factors in this situation is the relationship between Jenkins and owner Jeffrey Lurie. Jenkins feels more comfortable reporting for duty with his teammates knowing he has a friend at the top of the organization.

"I think that's one of the reasons I feel comfortable even being here because of my relationship with Jeff Lurie," Jenkins said. "I do feel valued and respected and that's not always the case for the players in this league, and I understand what that means."

In the end, Jenkins will apparently be on the field regardless of what happens with his contract. However, the business end of his situation won't end anytime soon.

"You can't be the highest paid out there nor do I want to be," said Jenkins. "But you want to be in the ballpark of what your value is."