For those who believe the NFL is a league where an overwhelming majority of athlete players has a “me first” mentality, Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins is taking his journey down an unselfish path, one which will benefit the Eagles organization.
According to Bo Wulf of the Eagles Official Team site, Jenkins and the Eagles have agreed to terms on a restructured contract on Tuesday to create some additional cap space for the upcoming free agency period. Jenkins, a nine-year veteran, was set to make $7.5 million for the 2012 season per his original contract he signed with Philly last July which included a $5 million roster bonus owed to him no later than March 13.
ESPN’s Business Analyst Andrew Brandt recently shed some light on a few of the finer details surrounding Jenkins modified contract.
According to Brandt, the 6’2, 305 defensive tackle will now earn $820,000 and will also retain the $5 million roster bonus. Jenkins will also receive a $1 million bonus next offseason in March 2013. Jenkins new deal will add a little bank to the Eagles current cap space which is currently around $18 million. With all the reports that have emerged recently regarding two-time Pro Bowl receiver DeSean Jackson expected to be franchised by the Birds, it seems pretty clear why Reid and co. are trying to create as much space as possible.
That is unless the Eagles intentions are to tag and bag Jackson which still remains to be an option for the Birds brass.
In Jenkins first year as a member of the Eagles franchise, a team he claims he hopes to retire a member of, the emerging defensive leader recorded 40 tackles and also notched 5.5 quarterback sacks. His restructured contract is a testament to his passion and dedication to the game of football which appears to be just as strong as the day he entered the league with the Green Bay Packers back in 2004. His “team first” attitude is a breath of fresh air in the league and hasn’t been witnessed by Eagles fans since a victory over the Dallas Cowboys in 2005 when (then) running back Brian Westbrook opted to take a knee on the 1-yard line rather than ending a remarkable breakaway run with a touchdown.
To me, there is no bigger statement to being a team player than a player who is willing to reduce his own salary if it means the team will be put in a better position.
Andrew Brandt – Football Outsiders
Bo Wulf – Eagles Official Team site