Mychal Kendricks opens up about his desire to be traded

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 15: Mychal Kendricks
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 15: Mychal Kendricks /

On Friday, Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks opened up about his status with the team and a conversation most of us knew nothing about.

On Friday, the Philadelphia Eagles wrapped up their second full-team practice of training camp. As expected, most of the media was in attendance. What wasn’t expected was what followed. Now, rather than discussing the great day wide receiver Alshon Jeffery had or what we’re seeing in position battles, we’re discussing linebacker Mychal Kendricks and some of his comments.

Kendricks confirmed that he requested to be released or traded around January, following the end of the 2016 season. No one doubts Kendricks has been hearing the talk about the Eagles possibly having plans to move him. Still, after the Eagles relieved former head coach Chip Kelly of his duties and replaced him with Doug Pederson, the Eagles defensive scheme moved from the 3-4 to the 4-3. Kendricks saw his role and playing time decrease. Now, the noise surrounding his future with the team has grown louder.

What we’ve learned is the Eagles’ thoughts about moving him may not have been as ongoing as we’ve been led to believe. Kendricks states he wasn’t given any communication at the end of the 2016 season that would have led him to believe he was in any danger of being moved.

Here’s some of what he had to say:

"I asked for a trade, for sure. Their response was, ‘You’re young and you’re talented and we’re not into that.’ … The last time I spoke to (people) upstairs was the exit meeting (in January), and right before they had an option to cut me. They had an option to do that with no money owed, but they decided to keep me."

What happened?

According to the linebacker, there was a clause in his contract that would have made it easy to allow the Eagles to let him go and not have to worry about any major salary cap implications. That’s no longer an option because but the deadline for that was in March. Kendricks is keeping everything in perspective.

"That’s the business. It’s just like that. You tell them what you want, they either do it or they don’t, and you are in the contract that you signed. I signed under a different coach, and I signed under a different management. There’s some people still here, but things change. This is my fourth coordinator on one team. Put that in perspective. Things change a lot"

A lot has happened in a few months.

Things do, indeed, change. Since being told there were no plans to move him, Kendricks, who played on 627 snaps in 2015, saw his on-field time decrease in 2016. Last season he was only involved in 26% of the team’s snaps. That’s a total of 273 plays.

Much has been made about his contract, which is, most likely, the biggest reason for the trade talks. In 2015, he signed a four-year extension worth $29 million ($16 million guaranteed). When asked about whether or not he would have signed that deal knowing what he knows now, he said he’d “plead the fifth”.

Moving on:

"I’m still going to have opportunities out there. They may not be as many. There’s obviously a cut-off from what I was doing and my output and performance — not performance, but the statistic standpoint of what I was doing — there’s a drop-off because of my percentage of playing time. But I’m still going to have an opportunity. Now you have to take the small amount of opportunity that you get and try to make those ‘wow’ plays, and that’s what I’m going to try to do. I’ve learned a lot about not only this business but about myself, too. It’s all an experience that will lead to a better Mychal Kendricks on and off the field."

Kendricks was the 46th-overall selection in 2012 by the Eagles. Now after 382 tackles, 12 sacks and three interceptions, it appears his time in Philly may indeed be running out.