While it surprised many, the Philadelphia Eagles made the right move last night by signing inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks to a four-year contract extension. At just 24-years old, Kendricks has already emerged as one of the league’s best inside linebackers and will now continue to serve as a cornerstone of the team’s defense through 2019. But this should only be the beginning of the Eagles locking up their home grown talent.
Although head coach Chip Kelly has been scrutinized for the talent he has sent out of Philadelphia, such as running back LeSean McCoy and wide receiver DeSean Jackson, he has also rewarded quite a few players during his tenure as well. Just this offseason alone, Kelly extended the contracts of both Kendricks and Graham, as well as rewarding Connor Barwin with some more money as well. So while Kelly is being crucified for all of the questionable decisions he is making, he’s made some smart moves by keeping talent in town as well.
Jason Peters, Jason Kelce and Allen Barbre have also been awarded with contract extensions since Kelly has taken the reigns in the City of Brother Love. Kelly loves his offensive linemen, so it only makes sense that he’s made sure his big boys are taken care of. That being said, there are some other players that will need to be taken care of soon as well.
This upcoming offseason, the Eagles have a few core players becoming free agents. Defensive ends Vinny Curry and Cedric Thornton have both been vital players up front for the Eagles on defense, yet they both could walk in free agency. Locking both of them up now for the long haul would be very beneficial for the Birds. Same goes for budding superstar Fletcher Cox, although they wisely picked up the fifth-year option in his contract, keeping him around for an extra season.
Nearly every good team around the NFL builds through the draft and then stay consistent by making sure their successful picks remain in town. Just look at the Seattle Seahawks, they’ve drafted Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Bobby Wagner, etc. and they’ve made sure that all of them are around for the long haul. That’s exactly what Kelly and the Eagles should be doing right now.
It appears as though that process has begun with Kendricks’ extension. Now it’s just up to Kelly and the rest of the organization to pick out the other home grown players they want to keep in town. It’s clear that Kelly has a vision for the team moving forward, now he just has to put of all the pieces together to make that vision a reality.
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