Malcolm Jenkins signs with Eagles

Tuesday March 11th, 2014

Malcolm Jenkins signs with Philadelphia Eagles Malcolm Jenkins [right] has made six interceptions and 275 tackles in his five NFL seasons. (Bill Frakes/SI)
The Eagles cut Patrick Chung on Tuesday, right about the same time they locked up free agent Malcolm Jenkins. Just like that, Chip Kelly's team had improved its troublesome situation at safety.

The numbers on that Jenkins deal, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter: three years for $16.25 million with $8 million guaranteed. Considering that the Eagles saved $3.25 million for next season by releasing Chung, nothing in that Jenkins contract will stand as too painful of a financial hit.

This could be the best shot yet taken by Philadelphia to shore up its safety position in the post-Brian Dawkins days. Chung, Nate Allen and rookie Earl Wolff failed to provide much of an impact together there in 2013, though Allen delivered his best season as a pro. Only Wolff was on the roster as of Tuesday, with Chung handed his pink slip and Allen an unrestricted free agent.

Jenkins wrapped his five-year career in New Orleans with a two-interception, 2.5-sack campaign. He initially appeared headed for more of a breakthrough than that in Rob Ryan's defense but failed to maintain a hot start.

Still just 26 years old, the former first-round pick could have his best days ahead of him -- at least that's clearly what the Eagles are hoping. While Jenkins does not stack up (yet?) with Jairus Byrd or T.J. Ward, that latter of whom signed with Denver, he came at a much more salary cap-friendly deal. Grade: B. Feels like a lot of Tuesday's grades are landing in this range. I guess that makes sense given that many teams addressed major needs without going overboard on contracts, even if there have been a couple head-scratchers. Should Jenkins flip the switch on all his talent, $16.25 million may turn out to be a real bargain. If he simply maintains his current level of play, the verdict will be that Philadelphia overpaid slightly but definitely improved.

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