For six seasons Malcolm Jenkins patrolled the secondary for the Eagles and performed at the highest level of professionalism and excellence on the field, in the locker room, and in the community. What he did on the field – three Pro Bowls, playing nearly every snap, winning a Super Bowl – matched the way he touched lives, provided leadership, and earned the respect and admiration of everyone he touched.
Jenkins announced his retirement on Wednesday after 13 NFL seasons – he was a first-round pick by New Orleans in 2009 and played five seasons there before joining the Eagles as an unrestricted free agent in 2014 and then finishing his final two campaigns with the Saints – and never has a classier and more dignified man wrapped up with all of those accomplishments on and off the field come across our sphere in Philadelphia. As good as Jenkins was on the field with his incredible durability – the only snaps he missed in six regular seasons with the Eagles came during the cool-down period in 2017 after the Eagles clinched the No. 1 seed in the playoffs – and his versatility as a rangy free safety, a hard-hitting strong safety, a hybrid linebacker, and a cover cornerback, he was every bit as good the instant he took off his shoulder pads.
"In so many ways, Malcolm Jenkins defined everything we want a Philadelphia Eagles to be. He was talented, intelligent, versatile, and reliable. He was physically and mentally tough. He led with his words, with his actions, and with the professionalism he brought every single day to our building," Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie said.
"He never took a single snap off – not in a game and not in a practice. Few players have ever had a personality and a style of play that meshed more perfectly with the City of Philadelphia. He contributed to so many memorable moments during his six years in Philadelphia, including our first Super Bowl Championship.
"Beyond his on-field success, Malcolm has committed so much of his time and resources to improving our community. His thoughtful and intentional leadership in that area serves as an inspiration for others to follow. The work he has done and the work he continues to do will resonate for many years to come.
"On a personal level, I have always appreciated our relationship and learning from his perspectives on many different topics. It was an honor to call him an Eagle. On behalf of the entire organization, we wish him and his family all the best as he enters the next phase of his life."
A stand-up man every day in the locker room with a relentless media throng, Jenkins mentored young players throughout his time with the Eagles, pulled veterans together as part of the leadership council implemented by the coaching staff, helped the locker room transition from Head Coach Chip Kelly's tenure to the one overseen by Doug Pederson, kept his cool in times of freneticism in Philadelphia, and shouldered responsibility for all of his actions. Beyond that, and most important, Jenkins changed the lives of so many underserved youth with his Malcolm Jenkins Foundation both in New Orleans and in Philadelphia and was recognized for his accomplishments in the community when he was named the recipient of the 2017 NFLPA Byron "Whizzer" White Award for extraordinary philanthropic and on-field performance.
Jenkins, the Eagles' 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee, took a leading role in 2017 when he co-founded the Players Coalition to organize a group of NFL players' fight for racial and social equality. Even after joining the Saints for the 2020 season, Jenkins returned to Philadelphia to peacefully march in Center City alongside those rising up to protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.