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Roseman: Trading Jenkins Didn't Make Sense

Posted Mar 15, 2017


Howie Roseman has been working the phones the past few weeks trying to improve the Philadelphia Eagles whether it's with agents to sign a player or executives with other teams looking to make a trade.

One of the priorities for the Eagles this offseason has been to improve the talent surrounding quarterback Carson Wentz on offense. The Eagles did just that in the early days of free agency by signing wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, and fortifying the offensive line with the addition of guard Chance Warmack and bringing back guard/center Stefen Wisniewski.

Prior to going the free agent route, Roseman explored potential trades. The Eagles were reportedly in the mix for former Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who was eventually dealt to the Patriots. Pro Football Talk reported that safety Malcolm Jenkins was discussed as part of a potential trade package, but the Eagles simply did not want "to give him up."

"Just because teams want guys or ask for guys, it doesn't necessarily mean we're going to give them up. For us, we felt like the best combination for our football team was to go and address the position the way we did in free agency," Roseman said on the Carlin and Reese Show on SportsRadio 94WIP on Wednesday afternoon.

The Eagles have made the safety position one of the team's strengths in the past few years. Jenkins was signed as a free agent in 2014 after five years with the Saints. He has been a leader on and off the field, as well as a playmaker since his arrival in Philadelphia. He earned Pro Bowl honors following the 2015 season. He's scored four touchdowns off interception returns over the past three seasons, while generating eight total picks. He's had three 100-tackle campaigns, while playing virtually every snap on defense.

"Teams should be interested in Malcolm Jenkins. He is a heck of a player," Roseman said.

Last offseason, the Eagles signed Rodney McLeod from the Rams to complement Jenkins. In his first year in midnight green, McLeod led the team with a career-high 117 tackles, and had career highs in both interceptions (3) and passes defensed (10).

Instead of weakening the defense and surrendering valuable draft capital, Roseman and the Eagles elected to attack the wide receiver position in free agency and came away with a speedy, vertical threat in Smith and a rangy, jump-ball receiver in Jeffery.

"From our perspective, it doesn't make a lot of sense to do something that would hurt the team when we could address it in a different way," Roseman said. "At the end of the day, we felt like the best way for us to move forward was to address the position in free agency."

While safety is relatively set with Terrence Brooks, Chris Maragos, and Jaylen Watkins providing excellent depth behind Jenkins and McLeod, the Eagles still need to add talent at the cornerback position. There will be two new starters as Leodis McKelvin was released and Nolan Carroll signed with Dallas.

"We have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. There's a long way to go before we get on the field here and games start for real. You look at that position and it's no secret that we'd like to add some people there," Roseman said of the cornerback position. "We also can't force it."

Thanks to the free agency approach at wide receiver, the Eagles still have eight picks in the 2017 NFL Draft including the 14th-overall selection.


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