Back in January after the Eagles suffered a home playoff defeat to the Seattle Seahawks, Malcolm Jenkins made it abundantly clear that he would only return to the team if his contract was restructured. He was not kidding, as apparently the team could not come to an agreement on a new contract with him and has instead not exercised his 2020 contract option.
With Jenkins' contract off the books, the Eagles are set to receive about $4.7 Million in cap space. What they gained in cap space is minimal compared to the massive loss to the locker room this move creates. The team will now have to have a new captain on the defense, as well as an overall team leader. Brandon Graham and/or Fletcher Cox will likely have to step up and become more vocal to unite the defense and the entire locker room. Carson Wentz's role as a captain will also have to expand as he now becomes the unquestioned leader of the entire Philadelphia Eagles roster.
There are only a few interesting free agent safeties left that might interest the Eagles, including Philly native Will Parks. Still, it might finally be time for the Eagles to invest a high draft pick on a safety to try to develop into a quality starter or even a star. The last time the Eagles invested at least a 2nd round pick on a safety was when they drafted Temple's Jaiquawn Jarrett with the 54th overall pick in 2011. When Roger Goodell takes the podium at the draft in April, we could hear him announce Xavier McKinney, Grant Delpit or Ashtyn Davis to Philadelphia.
Whatever the case ends up being, it will take Eagles fans a long time to get used to not seeing a midnight green #27 jersey roaming the defensive backfield, or hearing the guy in that jersey yell at his teammates to psych them up. What we do know is that one day in the future Jenkins will return to Lincoln Financial Field to receive his black blazer as he gets inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame.