Over the past six years, the Philadelphia Eagles have experienced dramatic change.
Chip Kelly. Sam Bradford. Doug Pederson. Carson Wentz.
The one constant has been Malcolm Jenkins.
The Eagles have played 102 games during the past six seasons. Jenkins never missed one.
He’s barely missed snaps, playing nearly 99 percent of them since signing in Philadelphia.
The Eagles won 59 games over that span. Including a damn Super Bowl.
At age 32, the Eagles have parted ways with the All-Pro Safety. As he re-joins the New Orleans Saints, he’s remembered as a franchise great.
During Malcolm’s tenure, it was easy being an Eagles fan. Regardless of the wins and losses. The way he carries himself off the field—his investment in the community and his commitment to social injustice nationwide. He didn’t just talk for clicks or recognition. He backed up his word with tangible actions that has directly improved people’s lives. There aren’t many better role models than Malcolm Jenkins in professional sports. There aren’t many better role models than Malcolm Jenkins period.
On the field, he delivered. He didn’t take plays off. His accountability, during the rough stretches, is how a leader should respond to adversity. Never throwing teammates under the bus or playing the blame game. Malcolm honestly accessed how he and his teammates played every single game. It’s how a leader should hold himself.
I can’t pretend to know why the Eagles front office went differently. He only wanted his contract restructured—something he more than earned because of his performance. But a combination of the front office and coaching staff wanted a change, he’s no longer an Eagle.
There’s speculation that Howie Roseman parted with Malcolm Jenkins as a way for Carson Wentz to be the unquestioned leader of the team. That better not be the case, because I can’t think of a more narrow-minded thought process. I hope Howie Roseman and the Eagles front office cannot be that moronic.
It’s easy to react negatively to what the Eagles have done this offseason, especially when they had could have made a big move to help Carson Wentz on offense with star DeAndre Hopkins available for draft picks. The Darius Slay trade should improve a cornerback group that has had laughable moments for the better part of the Doug Pederson/Jim Schwartz era—but what about safety? Isn’t it likely the departure of Jenkins and the addition of Slay becomes a wash?
I regress, because I don’t know who the Eagles will draft in April, or how the defense will look with a new safety replacing Jenkins.
I know what the Eagles looked like these last six years. Even when things got bad. Even when the team seemed to drift during horrific losses. Malcolm Jenkins righted the ship more often than not.
An Eagles legend. Forever.