March 18, 2020
The departure of Malcolm Jenkins from the Philadelphia Eagles after six seasons marks the end of an era, one that brought the city its first Super Bowl title and cemented Jenkins as one of the team's finest leaders.
While it appears Jenkins and the Eagles were too far apart to reconcile contract negotiations, it's clear that the decision to move on was difficult for both sides.
Jenkins, who has been the team's rock on defense, was more than a football player in Philadelphia. He's the kind of athlete who sets an example in the community and takes pride in the responsibility of acting as a role model.
Following yesterday's news that Jenkins will become a free agent, the safety posted a heartfelt message thanking the city of Philadelphia and pledging to be back.
View this post on Instagram
Dear Philly, I’m usually a man with a lot to say. I take pride in my ability to articulate my thoughts and feelings. But.... today the words are escaping me. There are too many people to thank and too many great memories to single anyone out in particular. I can only say, I’m grateful to Mr. Lurie for the opportunity to represent this city. I thank my teammates for making me better every single day. I thank the warriors in this community that fight for a better Philadelphia. And I thank the fan base for embracing me as your own. I hope that I am leaving having given more than I have received. That has always been my mission and I hope I represented you all well. Also, this is my home so I’m sure you’ll see me around. This is not goodbye, but I’ll see you later 🍻🦅
Jenkins, 32, likely has a few good seasons left in the tank and will be a significant upgrade to any team that adds him to their defensive backfield.
When it's all said and done, it sounds like Jenkins has every intention to make Philadelphia his permanent home, following in the footsteps of other plays, such as Connor Barwin, who adopted the city as their own. Barwin has since taken a front office job with the Eagles. Even Brian Dawkins, who left Philadelphia in 2009 under circumstances similar to Jenkins, came back for a period as a team employee and retired as an Eagle.
Jenkins' charitable contributions to Philadelphia and his advocacy for underserved parts of the community will forever be appreciated and welcome when he's ready to return home.