After 13 NFL seasons, Malcolm Jenkins is calling it a career. The veteran Saints safety announced Wednesday in an interview with ESPN's Ryan Clark that he is retiring from football. The 34-year-old spent the past two seasons in New Orleans, where he also spent the first five years of his career, and goes out as an all-time great for both the Eagles and Saints, helping each team win its first Super Bowl during his run as a three-time Pro Bowler.
A first-round pick of the Saints out of Ohio State in 2009, Jenkins began his career as a cornerback, but converted to safety for his first run as a full-time starter in 2010. He emerged as one of the game's steadiest players at his position after signing with the Eagles in 2016 free agency, totaling 11 interceptions and rarely coming off the field during a five-year stretch in which he was active for every game. An on- and off-field leader for Philadelphia during the team's 2017 Super Bowl run, he missed just 10 games over the course of his 13 seasons in the NFL, departing as one of the best veteran additions in franchise history.
Jenkins returned to the Saints on a four-year contract in 2020 free agency, logging three picks in his homecoming season, and missed just one game in 2021 due to COVID-19 as part of New Orleans' stingy defense.
A two-time All-Pro, his departure creates a new vacancy in the Saints' defensive backfield, which lost fellow safety Marcus Williams to free agency but also added former Jets starter Marcus Maye on a two-year deal. New Orleans could lean on former Chiefs reserve Daniel Sorensen or cornerback C.J. Gardner-Johnson to help fill Jenkins' role in 2022.