Dec 1, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles linebackerMychal Kendricks
(95) lines up during the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Cardinals 24-21. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Monday March 30th invited a new wave of Philadelphia Eagles moves. First, they signed veteran wide receiver Miles Austin, who is famous for being as fragile as glass. Next, they extended inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans effectively reducing his 2015 cap hit.
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has shown that he loves DeMeco Ryans. Ryans is the leader not only of the Eagles defense, but also in their locker room. He is a veteran presence that the younger players look to for guidance. He deserves the extension he received.
Earlier this offseason the Eagles traded running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for inside linebacker Kiko Alonso. Chip Kelly is familiar with Alonso because he played for him at Oregon. Alonso is very talented, but he is coming off a torn ACL that kept him out all of the 2014 season.
Dec 22, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills middle linebacker Kiko Alonso (50) looks to make a tackle during the second half against the Miami Dolphins at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Buffalo beats Miami 19-0. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
The only starting caliber inside linebacker currently on the Eagles roster who did not suffer a serious injury last year is Mychal Kendricks, who might be the best of the group. However, he is the only one left that Chip Kelly did not hand pick himself. As we now know this is Chip Kelly’s team and he wants to make sure that everyone on this team is someone he trusts and buys into his culture.
This raises the question of whether Kendricks’ days with the Eagles are numbered. It is hard to find a team grown linebacker that you find in the draft and hold onto for a long time. That is exactly what Kendricks is for the Eagles and why it would be a shame for the Eagles to let him walk.
Sep 29, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Philadelphia Eagles inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks (95) on the bench late in the fourth quarter of the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Eagles 52-20. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
That being said, Kendricks would be a commodity as a cheap, young, talented inside linebacker if he were to go on the market. Kelly could be scheming to find a way to land Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota by using Kendricks. I could even see the Eagles taking Kendricks and turning him into Landon Collins through a trade somehow. That would definitely be a way to take a player at a position of excess and turning him into a player at a position of need.
I certainly hope Chip Kelly knows what he is doing if he decides to trade Kendricks. This is because while I could see an argument for why the Eagles are better off without LeSean McCoy and quarterback Nick Foles, I can’t see the Eagles being better off without Kendricks.
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