Sean Payton: Letting Malcolm Jenkins leave was a big mistake

Getty Images

Eagles cornerback Malcolm Jenkins is preparing to face his old team, the Saints, in the playoffs on Sunday, and there may be some hard feelings present, as evidenced by Jenkins flipping the bird to the Saints’ sideline during the teams’ regular-season meeting.

But there are no hard feelings flowing the other direction, according to Saints coach Sean Payton, who said he wishes he still had Jenkins on his team.

“He was probably one of the most important parts to our Super Bowl run,” Payton said, via Matt Lombardo of NJ.com. “And that was only his rookie season. He’s one of my guys, and I mean that. Probably one of the bigger mistakes that we’ve made, and you have to ask yourself ‘how did that happen?’ Letting him out of the building certainly wasn’t a smart decision.”

Payton said that despite Jenkins’ gesture in the heat of the moment amid the Saints’ blowout win during the regular season, they have a great relationship.

“I told him after the game that I love him,” Payton said. “And I know the feeling is mutual. I just have a ton of respect for him as a player, and also as a person. He’s a fantastic, fantastic player, and just as good of a person.”

Jenkins will try to make Payton regret letting him get away even more on Sunday.

41 responses to “Sean Payton: Letting Malcolm Jenkins leave was a big mistake

  1. Flipping the bird was admittedly a bad look for Malcolm. But the guy has done as much or more charitable work than anyone else in the league. Props to Payton for recognizing his mistake in letting Jenkins go and for looking past the one finger salute.

  2. Malcolm Jenkins is the Keith Byars of Defense in Philly.
    Dude is everywhere and does everything.

  3. The human in me likes hearing they’re really chill with each other.

    I’m not human on Football Sundays though.

  4. Sproles is still one of my favorites to watch. He has slowed down just a bit, but he still has it. Jenkins has proved to be a vital part of not only the Eagles defense, but the entire team. He is a true natural leader and always gives it 110% on the field. I don’t doing Sean at all when he says it was a mistake to let him go.

  5. Just make it a game Birds and I’ll take this season as a positive. The last outing was not fitting of the reigning SB Champs. Unprepared and out matched.

  6. one of the best free agent signings ever. He is a great player, and a great leader. So lucky the Eagles signed him instead of Byrd or Ward, both of whom are out of the league now.

  7. First play of Sunday’s game. Ginn on a deep post route, burning Jenkins for the first of many TD’s. That’s Payton’s response to Jenkins’ one finger salute. Who Dat!

  8. @
    naes says:
    January 9, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    You have to make brutal decisions when you pay a QB that much.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________
    Not if you win championships.

  9. He was probably one of the most important parts to our Super Bowl run
    ———————————————————————-
    Correction, maybe second behind the whole bounty thing.

  10. Wrong. The decision was to let Jenkins go so they could pay Jairus Byrd much more because they thought he was better. That was incorrect and, along with a couple other signings, that really set the team back in 2014-2016.

    naes says:
    January 9, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    You have to make brutal decisions when you pay a QB that much.

  11. jredshoes says:
    January 9, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Fly eagles fly. Then we can stop this Breeze for MVP nonsense
    ********************
    Someone is clueless on the regular season awards.

  12. Jenkins has played every defensive snap of 2018/19 and 98% of snaps since 2014. That’s just crazy. If it wasn’t for Nick Foles there would be no debate and Malcolm would be crowned the greatest free agent signing in Eagles’ history. But #BDN…

  13. You have to make brutal decisions when you pay a QB that much.
    ===================

    What paying fair market value for an elite future HOFer?
    Hint: It wasn’t the QB money it was a ton of dead money dedicated to horrible FA signings

  14. Foles was drafted by the eagles though… not sure resigning a known guy after he bounces around counts

  15. Actually money was not the issue. Jenkins never had int’s, still doesn’t, and they thought Byrd was a ball hawk. Wrong. Jenkins was out of position at free safety, he needed to be strong. also let Akiem Hicks go. Payton cleaned house on some asst”s and scouts, and then they righted the ship.

  16. jredshoes says:
    January 9, 2019 at 4:29 pm
    Fly eagles fly. Then we can stop this Breeze for MVP nonsense

    Well it certainly ain’t going to be anyone from the Iggles.

    Don’t become like Pats fans. Win and win cool. There are great players everywhere and Brees is one of them.

  17. I wonder if the eagles felt the same when we resigned Chung 2.0 starting in 2014. He turned into a heat seaking missile with D-Mac, Revis, Browner, Ryan, and Harmon. I still wonder if we should’ve resigned Benjamin Watson in 2010.

    Jenkins is a stud and AN OHIO STATE GRADUATE!

    O-H!

  18. Jenkins just wasn’t great his last year in NOLA, and he was a part of the worst defense in the history of the league. Hindsight is one thing but at the time this was a good decision.

  19. Malcolm has played safety, outside CB, nickel, LB; lines the D up and off the field he is off the chain. I love B Dawk as much as the next guy but they are two different types of safeties and Malcolm’s versatility is second to none. Both men of the highest character as well.

  20. Whoever was trying above to clown brees and called his mvp candidacy “nonsense” is an idiot and doesn’t know a thing about football. I’m an eagles fan.

  21. He single handedly cost the Saints a playoff win in San Francisco. I think that had something to do with the decision.

  22. Watch out Malcolm, Sean’s expression of love for you just means he’s designed some plays aimed directly at you! LOL!

  23. It wasn’t a real bad move letting Jenkins go…He was drafted as a CB and wasn’t great for a first round CB. He just seemed to blossom more in Philly then in N.O. Lits of players seem to do that ie. Wes Weller, And even Drew Brees played better..Saints loss was Philly’s gain for sure.

  24. This is going to be an awesome game. I’m an eagles fan but I like the saints team a lot. Brees does it the right way and is really hard not to root for & impossible not to appreciate, as a guy who appreciates greatness even when it’s not my team. That being said, there’s nobody I hate more right now than Brees & the saints given the big matchup. Don’t know if my eagles have the magic for another week, it’s been such a fun run & I can’t count them out but this is the toughest game left on the schedule win or lose. Really like the winner to represent the NFC on super sunday. Good luck saints fans (I hate you right now though & im sure the feeling is mutual) & can’t wait for Sunday

  25. The Nick Foles Eagles are gonna win this one. Bears shouldn’t have beaten the Vikings in the last game of the season. Playoff Foles is unstoppable.

  26. Gettimg rid of Akiem Hicks was a bigger mistake. Not sure if it was poor coaching or what but Jenkins was really just average in New Orleans. He never reached that next level like he has with the Eagles.

  27. Saints will dominate. Eagles are very fortunate to even be in this game. Parkey should get at least a gift basket from Pederson and Lurie.

    Brees and that offense will roll, and the Saints D will expose the Paper Champs the Eagles are.

    I like Foles, but the Eagles….not so much. The Saints are a far superior team, and the extreme lucky streak the Eagles have been riding ends in Nola.

  28. I wonder if the eagles felt the same when we resigned Chung 2.0 starting in 2014. He turned into a heat seaking missile with D-Mac, Revis, Browner, Ryan, and Harmon. I still wonder if we should’ve resigned Benjamin Watson in 2010.
    ______________________________

    Not at all, Chung wasn’t great here, he does much better in the NE system than what we were running

  29. @whodatalien says:
    January 9, 2019 at 4:41 pm
    sean payton dont know a lick about defense. and letting jenkins walk for jairus byrd cost the genius Coach Ryan his job
    =========================================================================================
    Rob Ryan was a horrible DC. If he wasn’t so bad, he’d still be in the league.

  30. @curbstompkareem says:
    January 9, 2019 at 7:04 pm
    Whoever was trying above to clown brees and called his mvp candidacy “nonsense” is an idiot and doesn’t know a thing about football. I’m an eagles fan.
    ===========================================================================
    QBs that are MVP candidates are not taking off the field for a myriad of trick plays run by a guy that returns kicks.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!