PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Two safeties got big-time money this offseason, an average of $14 million per season with Tyrann Mathieu in Kansas City and Landon Collins in Washington. Neither one of those two has a résumé like Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, who will make $8 million in 2019.
Jenkins missed voluntary OTAs for the first time in his career earlier in June, leading many to speculate his absence was over a contract dispute.
The Pro Bowl safety said Tuesday that was just part of the reason as the 31-year-old reported to NovaCare Complex for the first day of mandatory minicamp.
“It wasn’t all just the contract,” Jenkins said. “It was also I just finished my 10th year. I’ve been to every OTA since I started my career and I needed some time off. I took that time, I traveled a little bit, took care some of other endeavors and just really mentally took a break from the game, which I think was equally important.”
After a wave of big contracts handed out to safeties during the offseason, Jenkins is now 10th among NFL safeties. Much of his contract is not guaranteed either.
Jenkins believes he has outplayed his current contract.
“Like any other business, you look at what the market value is and based off your production what that value is. For me I’m not out to be, when you’re under contract, you can’t be the highest paid out there nor do I want to be. But you want to be in the ballpark where your value is.”
Jenkins says he’s absolutely confident the Eagles will reward his effort, but for now it’s about what’s doing best for the team.
It’s hard to argue with the numbers.
Jenkins has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last three seasons and has played in every single game since signing with the Eagles in 2014.
The Eagles returned to work on Tuesday for the first day of mandatory minicamp with the first of three practices this week.
After minicamp, the Eagles will be off until training camp in late July.
The gang was all at the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday with perfect attendance. Many of the players did not take the field because they are still nursing injuries.
“It’s huge for these guys to wrap up the offseason together,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said. “I think this is the most important part of the offseason.”
“This is when your team is together, it’s a crucial time,” Pederson added. “It’s short, but at the same time it’s where we begin to build and continuing building the bonds and relationships that are going to carry us into the season.”
With Jenkins and a full group in minicamp, Pederson says it’ll only help the Birds as they prepare for next season.
“The message that I can send later in the week, as we depart and go into the summer, will carry over into training camp and it will resonate with the guys all summer,” Pederson said.