Malcolm Jenkins

Optimistic Rodney McLeod has new appreciation for recovery

Optimistic Rodney McLeod has new appreciation for recovery

After months of rehab, Eagles safety Rodney McLeod expects to be ready for training camp when players report on July 24. 

“I think my body will be ready to go,” McLeod said on Thursday after the last minicamp practice of the spring. “We just honestly have to figure out what that’s going to look like. Getting me back acclimated is the biggest thing.”

In recent practices, McLeod has been participating in individual drills but hasn’t been participating in the team portions. That’s the next step. Training camp starts almost exactly 10 months from when McLeod suffered the ACL injury that ended his 2018 season early. 

He’s returning with a greater appreciation for just how hard it is to recover from a major injury. 

It was a humbling experience, I will say that. You never see what goes on day to day with these injuries that a lot of guys face, even guys like Carson (Wentz), Chris Maragos, all the guys that experience ACL injuries, Jason Peters. I leaned on those guys for advice, but I didn’t really know what that was going to entail until I experienced it. I got a greater deal of respect for those guys to see them battle back and see them perform the way that they have. It’s pretty remarkable. I’m hoping to do the same. Just excited to be back out there.

This was the first major injury of McLeod’s career. Until last season, McLeod had played 97 of 99 possible games in his career. He played all 16 games from 2012-16 and missed just two games in the 2017 season (one of them was the meaningless regular season finale). This was all new. 

McLeod and fellow defensive back Ronald Darby helped each other through the recovery process. McLeod was already over a month into his recovery when Darby went down, so he was able to let him know what to expect. The two pushed each other in rehab, using a competition board in the training room. 

When asked about the hardest part of the process, McLeod said it was the lack of instant results. 

“You just really gotta trust the trainers and trust yourself,” he said. “I think that’s the biggest thing. Especially early, the first couple months. You’re down and out and doing the same thing constantly, repeatedly and not to see the results you’re really looking for. But one thing, you just gotta have those short-term goals and that’s one thing that I’ve been focusing on so far.”

The next short-term goal is to be ready for training camp. It’s one McLeod expects to meet. After that, his goal will be to play in Week 1 alongside Malcolm Jenkins.

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Eagle Eye Podcast: Has Malcolm Jenkins outplayed his contract?

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Eagle Eye Podcast: Has Malcolm Jenkins outplayed his contract?

On this edition of Eagle Eye, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro discuss Malcolm Jenkins' contract situation. How he might be playing the national media.

Why Carson Wentz's new contract is good for both sides. Eagles have a lot of talent around their big money QB.

Also, practice observations from Dave.

0:30 - Dave goes out of town during the busiest days of the offseason.
1:30 - Malcolm Jenkins' camp might be playing the national media.
7:30 - Why Wentz's deal was good for both sides.
16:00 - Eagles have talent around Wentz, so the window to win is open.
24:30 - Keep an eye on Greg Ward Jr.
28:30 - Practice observations from Dave.
33:00 - How did Wentz look during practice? Miles Sanders not practicing is a concern.

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Contract talks ‘ongoing,’ Malcolm Jenkins thinks he’s outplayed his old deal

Contract talks ‘ongoing,’ Malcolm Jenkins thinks he’s outplayed his old deal

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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