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Saints sign S Malcolm Jenkins to 4-year, $32M deal

Malcolm Jenkins is returning to the Bayou.

The veteran safety has signed a four-year, $32M contract with $16.25M guaranteed and a max of $35M with the New Orleans Saints, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source informed of the deal.

The Philadelphia Eagles declined Jenkins' option on Tuesday, making him a free agent.

The 32-year-old safety spent his first five seasons in New Orleans after being selected in the first round in 2009. He then headed to Philly in free agency in 2014, where he spent the past six seasons.

Last year, Saints coach Sean Payton said the decision to let Jenkins walk was an error.

"He was probably one of the most important parts to our Super Bowl run," Payton said in January 2019. "And that was only his rookie season. He's one of my guys, and I mean that. Probably one of the bigger mistakes that we've made, and you have to ask yourself, 'How did that happen?' Letting him out of the building certainly wasn't a smart decision."

Now Payton has a chance to right that wrong.

While he's not as fleet of foot as his first stint in New Orleans and can take some bad angles, Jenkins remains a solid defender on the back end, stepping up against the run, and can time a blitz. He compiled 81 tackles and 2.5 sacks with eight passes defended in Philly last year. Pro Football Focus gave Jenkins a 70-plus point grade each of the last six seasons. Also a durable defender, Jenkins didn't miss a start in six seasons with the Eagles.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported Tuesday that the primary reason Philly moved on was Jenkins wanted a new deal, but the Eagles didn't want to go there. The figures on his contract in New Orleans will tell the biggest story of what the Saints think they're getting in Jenkins at 32.

Reuniting with Jenkins portends the Saints being out on re-signing free agent safety Vonn Bell, who could cash in on the open market at 25 years old.

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