The Philadelphia Eagles were serious about fixing the wealth of issues in the defensive backfield going into free agency, and they have taken that first step by signing former New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins to a three-year deal.
ESPN's Adam Schefter broke the news and provided details on the deal:
Former Saints S Malcom Jenkins to Philly on a 3-year, $16.25M deal, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 11, 2014
The team took to Twitter to announce the move:
To make room for Jenkins, the Eagles cut last year's starter, Patrick Chung, according to Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer:
McLane also provided some detail into the financial side of the deal:
So one more time, the #Eagles have signed safety Malcolm Jenkins to a three-year deal with $16.5 mil total and $8.5 guaranteed, per source.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) March 11, 2014
As Reuben Frank of CSN Philly points out, the move should give Eagles faithful a major sense of relief:
Love the Malcolm Jenkins signing. Three years, $16.5 million. Solid addition. Big upgrade.— Reuben Frank (@RoobCSN) March 11, 2014
A five-year veteran at just 26 years old, Jenkins brings a semblance of experience and productivity to the secondary in Philadelphia. He recorded 68 total tackles and two interceptions last season while being slowly replaced by rookie Kenny Vaccaro. Jenkins ranked as the No. 65 overall safety in the NFL last year, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
The fit is perfect based on what general manager Howie Roseman told reporters earlier in the week about his conservative approach, which saw the team land names like Cary Williams and Connor Barwin, according to CSN Philly's Geoff Mosher:
The guys that you've drafted, they look around and they say, 'Well, this guy they brought from somewhere else, and they're paying him maybe more than he's worth. So you have to be very careful in free agency, and I think what worked last year was based on the free-agent market.
While not a major name like Jairus Byrd or T.J. Ward, Jenkins perfectly fits Philadelphia's strategy that has thus far worked well. Jenkins will slide right into a starter role and provide a boost to what was a mediocre unit in 2013.
If Jenkins can work on his missed tackles against the run (he missed 16 last year, per PFF), many will likely look back on this deal and praise Roseman and the Eagles' front office once again.