If there was any question as to what Malcolm Jenkins thinks about his current deal with the Eagles, he clearly answered it on Tuesday.
He wants his contract re-worked.
Jenkins, 31, has two years left on the four-year extension he signed three years ago. He’s set to have base salaries of $8.1 million and $7.6 million over the next two seasons before becoming a free agent.
“As a player, I feel like I’ve outplayed that contract,” Jenkins said.
While there doesn't seem to be any assurances of a new deal, Jenkins said those contract talks between his representation and the Eagles are “ongoing.” He reported on Monday for mandatory minicamp without a new deal.
This offseason, Jenkins skipped all of OTAs for the first time in his career. He said it was weird to be absent for the practices, but his desire for a new contract wasn’t the only reason he skipped. He also took some time off, traveled and spent time on his other endeavors. But it’s pretty clear Jenkins wants more money.
Had he chosen to skip this three-day mandatory minicamp and begin a holdout, Jenkins could have been fined over $88,000. Instead, he was on the field Tuesday, working with the first-team defense at his normal spot.
“I think that at this point in time, for me, I want to get back around the guys,” Jenkins said. “I want to be here, play ball and participate in, obviously, the mandatory portion of the offseason.”
Jenkins said he actually approached the Eagles about his contract immediately after the season. That was before fellow safeties like Tyrann Mathieu, Landon Collins and Earl Thomas signed mega deals this offseason. He said those contracts sort of validated his point.
For now, Jenkins is the ninth highest-paid safety in the league. He is probably right that he’s outplayed his current contract. He’s made the Pro Bowl in three of his five seasons with the Eagles, plays just about every snap and plays multiple positions for a defense of which he is the clear leader.
Jenkins saw what those other guys got paid. He re-assessed his market value.
“When you’re under contract, you can’t be out to be the highest paid out there, nor do I want to be,” Jenkins said. “But you want to be within the ballpark of what your value is.”
Jenkins said he has a great relationship with owner Jeff Lurie, which is one of the reasons he feels comfortable being with the Eagles at minicamp without a new contract. He said he feels valued and respected.
This situation could have turned ugly, but it doesn’t seem like it has.
“I think they understand the value that I bring,” Jenkins said. “I feel respected, which I think is the biggest part as a player. You want to make sure you’re valued and that you feel respected, but there is a business side of it.”
Jenkins reported to mandatory minicamp and plans to be at training camp in July even if he doesn’t have a new contract. But on Tuesday, he was very open about his desire to get paid more.
Does he think a new deal is going to be worked out?
“Those things are ongoing,” Jenkins said. “For me, I hire an agent to have those conversations. Mr. Lurie hires the GM to have those conversations. While I’m here, I’m focused solely on making sure that the product I’m putting on the field is the standard I want.”
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