Malcolm Jenkins makes clear he needs a new contract

Malcolm Jenkins makes clear he needs a new contract

Less than 24 hours after the Eagles’ season came to an end, safety Malcolm Jenkins made it perfectly clear he will not be back with the team in 2020 unless his contract is addressed.

“I won’t be back on the same deal,” Jenkins said in front of his locker on Monday. “That won’t happen.”

Jenkins has one year remaining on his current contract, but already approached the club about an extension last spring. The three-time Pro Bowler skipped voluntary spring workouts with the team before showing up for mandatory minicamp, vowing to focus on the season at hand.

He was all business, as usual, playing all 1,098 of the Eagles’ defensive snaps – plus special teams. Jenkins’ ironman streak extends to the 2017 playoffs, and he’s seldom come off the field since signing with the team in 2014.

“I’ve reached a point where I’ve done what I can,” said Jenkins. “At this point it’s up to my agent and management.

“I let my soul bleed every time I touch the field, sacrifice myself, do whatever I’m asked to do, so I’m content with doing my part. The rest will fall where it does.”

Jenkins is currently owed a base salary of $7.6 million in 2020. With over $3 in remaining prorated bonus money, plus per-game incentives worth an additional $250,000, his cap hit rises to over $10.8 million.

Seven NFL safeties currently carry a higher cap hit for 2020. Eight are owed a larger base salary. And of those players, only one other is entering the final year of his deal.

“You set your value on the market,” said Jenkins. “The market’s good for safeties right now. I consider myself to be in the top tier of that group and I’d like to be compensated for it.”

While Jenkins wants to be paid like one of the top safeties in the NFL and have the security of a multi-year deal, he acknowledged there’s a balance between making as much money as possible and being in the right situation.

“I want to be valued, I want to be compensated for what I think I’m worth, but I want to win, I want to be in a good locker room,” said Jenkins. “I’m a prideful person who enjoys to compete and win, but I’m not a dummy either.

“At this point in my career, I weigh all those things before I make any decision.”

It’s unclear how Jenkins intends to force the Eagles’ hand, though he made it sound as though a holdout is potentially on the table. If he refuses to rejoin the team and the front office is unwilling to reach an extension, it’s possible he could be traded as well.

“Something will happen,” Jenkins said. “I don’t know what it will be. Obviously there’s a lot of different ways it could go.

“All the things are kind of open, but at this point I feel like I’ve put together a good season. I’ve done everything I could to try to prove my worth and hopefully that works out.”

The problem, as the Eagles may see it, is Jenkins turned 32 in December. While he had another fine year, finishing with 90 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 8 pass breakups and 4 forced fumbles, naturally there’s concern his abilities are on the decline.

Jenkins admits he’s always pondering his future, but has managed to stay relatively healthy and doesn’t sound like somebody who’s close to retirement.

“I just finished 11 (seasons),” said Jenkins. “I told myself I would make it to 10 and go year to year after that as long as my body felt good, the money was what I wanted and the team was a team that I enjoyed being on.

“I’ll play for as long as I can, and right now I’m physically able, I still love the game. I’d love to be here, but I understand this is a business, so I’m good right now.”

The Eagles must also manage nostalgia while gauging whether Jenkins can viably live up to a new contract for the next few years. After the 2008 season, the organization left Hall of Fame safety Brian Dawkins leave as a free agent to Denver, where he played at a high level for another three years.

Jenkins isn’t quite in Dawkins territory, but he’s meant a lot to the Eagles the last six seasons. Still, there’s no sense that owner Jeffrey Lurie is pushing for a deal that allows him to retire with the team.

“Usually you don’t talk to ownership about contracts,” said Jenkins. “I have a great relationship with Mr. Lurie, but no, me and him personally haven’t talked about any contract since the spring.”

The two sides enter the offseason at an impasse but Jenkins is confident somebody in the league will see his true value.

“I’m not one to beg and I’m a very prideful person, so I feel like what I put out there this year, what I put on tape, what I’ve given to this team is more than enough,” said Jenkins. “I can’t do anymore, so for me, I feel good about that, that that will be good enough for me to go into this offseason with certainty that I’ll be fine.”

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Jason Kelce egregiously snubbed by NFL's all-decade voters

Jason Kelce egregiously snubbed by NFL's all-decade voters

Jason Kelce was the best center in the NFL over the last decade and no fraud all-decade team is going to change that.

The NFL on Monday announced its team of the decade, and it was good to see LeSean McCoy, Darren Sproles, Fletcher Cox and Jason Peters named. All are deserving.

But the absence of Kelce is egregious. 

Not surprisingly, the same people who haven’t figured out that Eric Allen was one of the greatest cornerbacks to ever play the game — the Pro Football Hall of Fame voters — are the same people who have decided that Kelce wasn’t one of the two best centers in the NFL from 2010 through 2019.

Alex Mack and Maurkice Pouncey were the centers named to the team of the decade, and guess what.

Kelce has made first-team all-pro more than both of them combined.

Kelce three times, Pouncey twice, Mack zip.

Pouncey deserves one of the two slots. He’s made eight Pro Bowls with the Steelers and played on six playoff teams and a Super Bowl loser. Hell of a career.

Mack? Ask any defensive tackle in the NFL if he’d rather face Kelce or Alex Mack. 

Mack’s been a really good player, and he does have more Pro Bowls than Kelce. But he was a 1st-round pick, and those guys tend to make Pro Bowls much earlier than 6th-round picks like Kelce. 

Kelce didn’t make his first Pro Bowl until his fourth season, and he was absurdly snubbed in the Pro Bowl voting in 2017 and 2018, when he was the best center in football, made first-team all-pro both times and didn’t get picked to the Pro Bowl team.

Kelce is the only active player in the NFL that’s had two all-pro seasons in which he didn’t make the Pro Bowl and one of only six in history.

It’s tough making up ground when you’re a 6th-round pick. You come into the league with no hype, and unless you see the guy play every Sunday you can’t imagine he’s really that good.

The rest of the country finally realized in 2017 what we already knew. Kelce guy is a beast. It took way too long. And judging by this NFL all-decade team people still haven’t figured out how good he is.

Kelce has added a dimension of athleticism to the center position that may be unprecedented. What he lacks in size and strength he makes up for in determination, intelligence and leverage. 

Kelce is one of six centers in NFL history to make first-team all-pro three straight years, the only one to do it in the last 20 years. All the others are Hall of Famers.

He’s also one of only seven centers in NFL history to be named all-pro three times AND to win a Super Bowl or NFL Championship. He’s the only one to do it in the last 35 years.

Kelce did make the Pro Football Writers Association all-decade team, so at least somebody got it right.

The thing that’s really disturbing is that Kelce is building a Hall of Fame resume, and the people that snubbed him for this honor could very well do the same when he’s in the Hall of Fame conversation. All-decade teams are one of the leading criteria Hall of Fame voters cite when justifying their picks.

All I know is Kelce is one of the smartest, toughest guys I’ve ever seen. He’s played through injuries that would have ended most guys’ seasons and some guys’ careers.

And he’s done it at a consistently high level since beating out Jamaal Jackson for the starting job in the summer of 2011.

Kelce probably doesn’t give a darn about all this. He’s never been one to take individual honors seriously. That’s not why he plays the game. 

He plays the game for moments like Feb. 4, 2018, and that’s something that none of the so-called experts can ever take away.

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NFL to reverse controversial pass interference rule for 2020 season: report

NFL to reverse controversial pass interference rule for 2020 season: report

After a one-year flirtation with pass interference challenges didn't really solve anything, the NFL is expected to end the experiment.

Pass interference replay "almost certainly will not be extended", according to a report Monday from NFL.com's Judy Battista:

This isn't terribly surprising. The rule was put in place largely because Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints complained very loudly after an enormous missed call in the 2018-19 postseason.

That crucial uncalled pass interference, you might recall, was committed by new Eagles cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman:

The 2019 regular season allowed coaches to challenge pass interference calls, either called or uncalled, but the results were a mixture of underwhelming and frustrating.

Eagles fans probably remember this very obvious Avonte Maddox pass interference that wasn't called, was challenged by Packers coach Matt LaFleur, and then still wasn't called:

That was insane.

"The cumulative effect of the misses, plus the replay spotlight on these misses, has really taken its toll," former NFL ref and current NBC rules analyst Terry McAulay told the New York Times last November.

The line for what constitutes pass interference was shown - as football watchers already knew - to be an indistinct and ever-moving line, and the ability to challenge the calls just created one more layer of aggrivation.

If the league does indeed remove the rule, it will be a victory. Fans, players, and coaches will still yell about missed pass interference calls - but at least they won't have to do it twice.

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