New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins announced his retirement today from professional football.
"Throughout his tenure with the New Orleans Saints, excellence, dependability and consistency both on and off the field defined Malcolm Jenkins," said Saints Executive Vice-President/General Manager Mickey Loomis. "Malcolm is a special player and a special person. His consistency and ability to be counted on and to make plays were what defined him on the field. Off the field, he was a fabulous leader and developed into a great mentor for younger players. For him to be able to come back and to finish his career as a Saint was a great ending to a phenomenal career."
"I recall when we first drafted Malcolm in 2009, he made contributions to a Super Bowl Championship team in multiple positions in the secondary and then pretty quickly developed into an outstanding safety," said Saints Head Coach Dennis Allen, who first served as Jenkins' position coach from 2009-10 and then as his defensive coordinator from 2020-21. "The combination of skill, awareness and intelligence allowed Malcolm to be in position to make plays all over the field. To put up the numbers he did for as long as he did speaks both to his talent and his commitment to his craft. He was also a great leader in the locker room and important contributor to the community. I'm proud to say that I had the opportunity to coach Malcolm and congratulate him on an excellent career."
Former New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins announced his official retirement from the NFL on March 30, 2022. View photos from his seven seasons with the Saints.
Jenkins, 6-0, 204, was originally selected by New Orleans in the first round (14th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft out of Ohio State. He made an immediate impact on the Super Bowl XLIV Championship team as a rookie, playing in 14 games with six starts and posting 51 tackles (42 solo), one interception, five passes defensed, nine special teams tackles, two coverage forced fumbles and one recovery. In 2010, he started 12 games at free safety and three at cornerback and posted 82 stops (56 solo), one sack, two interceptions, one returned 96 yards for a touchdown, 11 passes defensed, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries, as he was selected as a second-team Associated Press All-Pro safety. Jenkins would play three more seasons with the Saints from 2011-13, the last two as a defensive team captain, before joining the Philadelphia Eagles for six seasons, where he was selected to the Pro Bowl three times, led the Eagles in tackles, his last three seasons with the club and was an integral part of a Super Bowl LII Championship team. Jenkins re-signed with New Orleans in the 2020 offseason and was immediately voted as a defensive team captain, leading the secondary in stops in each of his final two seasons, ranking second on the club both times. In 2021, he opened all 16 games he played in at strong safety and ranked second on the team with 79 tackles (53 solo), a sack, a 34-yard interception return for a touchdown, five passes defensed and a forced fumble.
Overall in a 13-year NFL career, where he spent seven seasons with New Orleans and six with Philadelphia, Jenkins played in 199 regular season games with 191 starts and recorded 1,284 tackles (911 solo), 13.5 sacks, 21 interceptions returned for 590 yards, seven brought back for touchdowns, 130 passes defensed, 17 forced fumbles, ten fumble recoveries, 44 special teams stops, three coverage forced fumbles, one special teams recovery and three blocked field goals. In seven seasons with the Saints, he played in 103 games with 95 starts and posted 564 tackles (401 solo), eight sacks, ten interceptions for 301 yards in returns, including three brought back for touchdowns, six forced fumbles and four recoveries. Until being sidelined by COVID-19 protocols in Week 16, Jenkins had started 133 consecutive games, playing virtually every defensive snap during the streak, which was the longest games started streak among active NFL players at the time. Jenkins also played in 14 postseason contests with 12 starts and added 87 tackles (62 solo), two sacks and eight passes defensed.
Immensely respected off the field, Jenkins was selected a team nominee for the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year both as a member of the Saints and the Eagles, three times overall. Through his Malcolm Jenkins Foundation, which he established in 2010 in his second season in the NFL, Jenkins worked to create positive change in the lives of youth, particularly those in underserved communities; by providing resources, innovative opportunities and experiences that will help them succeed in life. The Piscataway, N.J. native conducted numerous initiatives through the foundation in New Orleans, his home state of New Jersey, his college state of Ohio and in Philadelphia.