Malcolm Jenkins responds to calls for him to return to the Philadelphia Eagles for a playoff run
With CJ Gardner-Johnson scheduled to miss substantial time after sustaining a lacerated kidney Sunday night, rumors started that the Eagles may look to the free agent market to help mitigate the loss of their starting safety.
However, looking at the current pool of free agent safeties and practice squads around the league, there aren’t many obvious routes for the Eagles to go. That was the thought until Malcolm Jenkins appeared on a podcast with John Clark and hinted about a possible return to the NFL.
Malcolm Jenkins on possibly returning to the Eagles
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“I don’t think [the Eagles] need me, to be honest,” Jenkins told Clark. “But, you know, you ask me that in December, I don’t know.”
For context, this episode was released last Wednesday, prior to CGJ’s injury. If Jenkins was asked if he’d come back to Philly now, who knows what his response would be.
“I can still play if that’s what you’re asking me, John. I can still play. I’m still in shape. I’m still working out. You know, it’s not far fetched. I’m still in it.”
Back in March, Jenkins officially retired from the NFL at age 34 after 13 seasons in the league. Jenkins joined the Eagles in 2014 and spent six seasons in midnight green, earning three Pro Bowl nods and, of course, helping the team win Super Bowl 52 in the process. After leaving Philadelphia during the 2019 offseason, Jenkins was still a productive player. He started all 32 games for the New Orleans Saints from 2020-’21, totaling 122 solo tackles, four interceptions, and one defensive touchdown.
At 34 years old and fresh off a productive 2021 season, there’s no reason to doubt Jenkins if he were to re-enter the NFL. He’s obviously past his prime, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be able to help mitigate the loss of Gardner-Johnson in the Eagles secondary.
There’s precedent for this type of signing, too. Just last season, the Rams convinced S Eric Weddle to come out of retirement for their playoff run after the team sustained a handful of injuries at the position. In turn, Weddle appeared in every postseason game for LA, racking up 18 combined tackles and playing every defensive snap in the NFC Championship Game as well as the Super Bowl.
Will Howie Roseman shoot his old pal a call? It depends how high the team is on undrafted rookie Reed Blankenship, who was impressive Sunday night in CGJ’s absence. Nevertheless, Jenkins is a proven commodity who, at the very least, could provide some much-needed depth at the position for the Eagles postseason run.
However today, Jenkins took to Twitter to respond fans calls for him to come back to Philadelphia
Jenkins signed a four-year deal with New Orleans in 2020, so this would’ve been the final year of the contract. Jenkins walked away from the deal, but the Saints technically would have his rights if he decided to return.
Still, the emoji usage up there and the fact that Jenkins “meant what he said” still leaves a glimmer of hope for Howie Roseman to pull some strings. It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for him to do something crazy as the Philadelphia Eagles look to move to 11-1 on the year this Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.
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