Philadelphia Eagles: Should Malcolm Jenkins’ number be retired?

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(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Malcolm Jenkins has been the best Philadelphia Eagles free agent signing of the 21st Century, but should his number be retired when he finally hangs it up?

When Malcolm Jenkins eventually hangs up his cleats, he will not have his bust forever enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

He just won’t.

Sure, Jenkins has been one of the best, if not the best free agent acquisition in Philadelphia Eagles history, but his play just hasn’t justified a spot in the annals of the Hall, especially since he plays safety, a position that has had a notoriously tough time earning Hall of Fame berths.

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Since entering the league in 2009, initially at cornerback, Jenkins has appeared in 151 games split between the Eagles and the New Orleans Saints, logging 605 solo tackles, 10 forced fumbles, and 17  interceptions.

Those numbers are great, but hardly worthy of a spot in the Hall of Fame.

However, while the NFL Hall of Fame voters may not appreciate Jenkins for his impact on the field with the Eagles, no one can argue that Jenkins hasn’t had a legendary impact on the city of Philadelphia.

From his commitment to playing virtually every snap on the field game after game to his continued commitment to bettering the city with his off the field activism and partnership with the city’s police department, Jenkins’ impact on the City of Brotherly Love will be felt for years, maybe even decades after he retires from the NFL, an honor that very few players in any sport can justifiably claim regardless of their playing pedigree.

To me, Jenkins has transformed the Eagles from an identity-less shell after the untimely passing of Jim Johnson into a formidable outfit both under Chip Kelly and under Doug Pederson.

Was either an all-time great, elite defense? No, not even Jim Schwartz‘s 2017 Super Bowl winning squad will have that sort of everlasting pedigree, but Jenkins’ leadership, versatility, and playmaking ability helped inferior units to punch above their weight class, and at times even serve as the team’s best unit overall.

Speaking of the Super Bowl, would the Eagles have made it to the big game in 2017, let alone win it without Jenkins?

Probably not.

Sure, he didn’t make any game-changing play like, say, Brandon Graham‘s strip sack of Tom Brady that all but secured a Lombardi Trophy, but Jenkins’ consistency served as a calming presence that kept the team on track and with their eyes facing forward, without fretting over their almost consistent string of season-ending injuries.

That, to me, is a big reason why Jenkins’ number should be retired by the Eagles when he does.

While Jenkins was never, and will never be the best player in the league at his position like Brian Dawkins was before him, his leadership helped earn Philadelphia a Super Bowl victory; a feat that no other player before him has accomplished.

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Though others from the team, like Jason Peters for example, may earn a similar honor from the organization, in my eyes, no one is more deserving of having their number forever enshrined in the annals of Lincoln Financial Field than Malcolm Jenkins; both for his on the field accolades, and the positive impact he’s had on the community.