Malcolm Jenkins is returning to New Orleans.
The former Ohio State defensive back is signing with the New Orleans Saints, who he began his NFL career with, according to multiple reports. The news was first reported by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
According to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jenkins' contract is a four-year, $32 million deal that includes $16.5 million fully guaranteed and could be worth as much as $35 million with incentives.
The signing was officially announced by the Saints on Thursday.
Jenkins, who was the 14th pick in the 2009 NFL draft after he won the 2008 Jim Thorpe Award in his final season at Ohio State, played his first five seasons in the NFL with the Saints (2009-13), winning a Super Bowl in his rookie season and earning second-team All-Pro honors in his second season while starting 63 total games. He spent the last six seasons with the Philadelphia.
According to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, Saints coach Sean Payton said last year that opting not to re-sign Jenkins when he became a free agent in 2014 was one of the biggest regrets of his coaching career.
Sean Payton last year: "Probably one of the bigger mistakes that weve made, and you have to ask yourself how did that happen? Letting him out of the building certainly wasnt a smart decision.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 18, 2020
Well, he's almost back. https://t.co/5VZ4SYpmEF
Jenkins rejoins a team that has built a reputation for stockpiling former Ohio State players in recent years, including superstar wide receiver Michael Thomas and cornerback Marshon Lattimore. That said, Jenkins' return to the Saints' secondary will likely lead to the departure of former Ohio State safety Vonn Bell. Their other two former Buckeyes from last season, Eli Apple and Ted Ginn Jr., are also unrestricted free agents.
When Jenkins and the #Eagles said goodbye, the #Saints made sense as the likely landing spot. New Orleans rights an old wrong. And now, with Jenkins signing, FA Vonn Bell leaves New Orleans in search of a new home. https://t.co/kEWssrTjdD— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 18, 2020