The Eagles announced on Tuesday that they will not exercise their 2020 contract option for veteran safety Malcolm Jenkins, making him an unrestricted free agent as of the beginning of the 2020 League Year on Wednesday.
"Malcolm Jenkins has been an outstanding player for us and we are proud of everything he accomplished both on and off the field during his time in Philadelphia," the team said in a statement. "Malcolm was a great teammate and leader, as well as one of the toughest and most reliable players to ever play in our city. After thorough discussion with Malcolm and his agent, Ben Dogra, both sides agreed on the difficult decision to turn the page on what was an incredible six-year relationship. We wish Malcolm and his family all the best as he pursues his next opportunity."
A 2009 first-round draft pick by New Orleans, Jenkins won a Super Bowl with the Saints in his rookie season and played five years there, transitioning from cornerback to safety, an important move in his career.
By the time Jenkins entered the free agency market, he was a well-known commodity in the league, having been named a second-team All-Pro player following the 2010 season and showing his versatility, durability, toughness, and leadership in New Orleans.
Jenkins signed with the Eagles as an unrestricted free agent prior to the 2014 season and immediately upgraded the team's situation at safety, proving ultimately to be one of the best free agent signings in franchise history. He made three Pro Bowls in his six seasons here and was a versatile, playmaking safety on the field and a leader in the locker room. He didn't miss a single game or start in his Eagles tenure and, with the exception of 2017 when the Eagles rested their starters in the regular-season finale, Jenkins played at least 99 percent of the snaps each year.
His leadership in the locker room and his availability as a spokesman for the team with the media was never a question, nor were his philanthropic efforts in the community largely through The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation. In February 2017, Jenkins was announced as the recipient of the NFLPA's Byron "Whizzer" White Award for his outstanding charitable efforts off the field. Jenkins joined Eagles Hall of Famers Brian Dawkins, Troy Vincent, and Reggie White as Eagles who have won the prestigious honor. Jenkins was the team's nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2017 and 2019.
Jenkins was at his very best in the 2017 Super Bowl season. Selected as a Pro Bowl player during a regular season in which Jenkins recorded a team-high 118 tackles (83 solo tackles), 11 tackles for loss, one quarterback sack, two interceptions, 12 passes defensed, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery, Jenkins was brilliant throughout the postseason. In the Super Bowl LII victory over New England, Jenkins had a career-high and team-best three passes defensed.