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Welcome back: Malcolm Jenkins, let go by Eagles, set to return for second stint with Saints

The New Orleans Saints didn’t need a free-agent visit from safety Malcolm Jenkins. They were familiar with him.

Jenkins’ 2020 option wasn’t picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday, and on Wednesday Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported he was close to a deal with the Saints.

The deal will reportedly be worth $32 million over four years once completed, with $16.5 million guaranteed and $3 million in additional incentives.

Jenkins was a first-round pick of the Saints in 2009, was a part of the team’s lone Super Bowl championship and had five productive years in New Orleans before moving on to Philadelphia.

Malcolm Jenkins returns to New Orleans

The 14th overall pick by the Saints in 2009, Jenkins started his career at cornerback and shifted to safety.

He was an emerging player for the Saints, and his career took off even more in Philadelphia, where he made all three of his Pro Bowls. While he was a rookie on the 2009 Saints’ championship team, he was a key figure on the Eagles’ Super Bowl championship team during the 2017 season.

Jenkins can now come back and help the Saints. He may be in a different phase of his career at age 32, but he can still be a productive player whose understanding of the game and versatility can be an asset to New Orleans’ defense.

Former Philadelphia Eagles strong safety Malcolm Jenkins (27) was close to a deal to return to the Saints. (AP Photo/Vera Nieuwenhuis)

Saints set up to be contenders again

It might be fitting for Jenkins to bookend his career with Saints championships.

New Orleans clearly feels it is still a contender, despite three straight seasons of playoff heartbreaks. The Saints brought back Drew Brees at quarterback, and the addition of Jenkins can help the defense.

With some better luck and continued production from some of the team’s older veterans, the Saints could be a championship contender again. Jenkins can be a big part of that push.

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