Jenkins will bring a Vilma-like veteran presence and leadership
None of us want to ever dwell on the memory of Brees going down in Week 2 last season. Possibly no other team suffered a worse QB feat than the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles, however, in terms of timing.
When Carson Wentz tore his ACL – eerily, also against the Los Angeles Rams – it was hard to fathom the team’s ability to recover and prosper.
Enter Malcolm Jenkins.
He gave such an impassioned speech to his teammates following the game that, à la George Kittle, makes you want to run through head-first a brick wall. See it for yourself:
Malcolm Jenkins was the cornerstone of the Eagles through his tenure, the above speech not being an outlier. In fact, he was called on to address his team in every game that season.
In tandem with the commanding presence of Demario Davis, the two veteran defenders bring an unparalleled level of leadership to an often dazed New Orleans defense. Can you imagine the pregame speeches those two could conjure up?
This is not to say that the Saints have any locker room issues or a need for grounding; in fact, their culture suggests the exact opposite. Nevertheless, it’s never a bad move to sign a player with leadership as a core trait.
Jenkins could become a key mentor for one of the best rookie surprises, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, who stands a strong chance of becoming a starting safety. For this reason alone, the decision to prioritize Jenkins over Bell is arguably the right choice.