Malcolm Jenkins

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Malcolm Jenkins excited to be back with Eagles

Eliot Shorr-Parks
June 11, 2019 - 5:00 pm

The Eagles held Day 1 of their mandatory minicamp on Tuesday at the NovaCare Complex, and in a move that was not expected, safety Malcolm Jenkins was not only at practice, but he was happy to be there. 

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“I was looking forward to getting back on the field," Jenkins said. "So yeah, I’m excited”

Jenkins, who skipped all of OTAs in an attempt to land a new contract with the team, worked with the first-team defense throughout practice during both seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 drills. Jenkins coming to mandatory minicamp can certainly be viewed as a positive sign for where things are between the two sides.

After practice, Jenkins wouldn't say if he believes he will get a new contract. 

“Those things are ongoing. For me, I hired an agent to have those conversations," Jenkins said. "Mr. Lurie hired a GM to have those conversations.”

The team's defensive leader and arguably their most respected/important player, Jenkins was not been present at any of the voluntary OTAs the last two months, something he has never done during his time with the Eagles. Had Jenkins decided to skip mandatory minicamp he would have been fined around $80,000. That fine increased to around $40,000 a day if he skips training camp practices, which is why it is safe to assume Jenkins will not be holding out into training camp. 

“It would make no sense for me to come to this," Jenkins said, "and not come to training camp.”

Jenkins, 31, has just two years remaining on his deal, with a 2019 base salary of $8.1 million and a 2020 base salary of $7.6 million. Jenkins' $11,387,000 cap hit is fourth highest among NFL safeties and his 2019 base salary of $8,100,000 is fifth highest among all safeties. He has led the defense in snaps each of the last three seasons, totaling 3,003 snaps. He has played safety, nickel cornerback and linebacker. He has been the Eagles' most important defensive player and, without question, the undisputed leader of their team. 

Jenkins insisted on Tuesday that he was not demanding to be the highest paid safety in the NFL, but did want to be fairly compensated for the level of play he brings to the team. 

“I think it is moreso the contract I signed three years ago," Jenkins said. "As a player, I feel like I have outplayed that contract, but there is also a business side of the game.”

Part of the reason Jenkins decided to come to mandatory minicamp seems to be his belief that the Eagles also agree he has outperformed that deal and understand the value he brings to the team. 

“I think they understand the value that I bring. I feel respected, which I think is the biggest part," Jenkins said. "As a player, you want to make sure that you are valued and respected. But there is a business side.”

Now that he is back, the Eagles -- and Jenkins -- can focus on 2019. 

“At the end of the day, I think everyone wants to win. I love being an Eagles, I love being here, I love this team, I love being in this locker room," Jenkins said. "I want to be a part of it, so that is why I’m here.”

What will happen in the future with Jenkins' contract, however, remains to be seen. 

You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at esp@94wip.com!