Pros and Cons: Should the Eagles part ways with Mychal Kendricks?

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The Eagles might be looking to move on from veteran linebacker, Mychal Kendricks in order to create additional cap space. Kendricks carries a hit of $6.6M in 2017 after signing a four year deal two years ago. But a change in scheme left Kendricks out in the cold this year, and the Eagles with a tricky decision to make.

With just a combined 32 total tackles this season, the lack of playing time showed up on the stat sheet as he notched his worst tackle total in his career. With his numbers being down and most of his time being spent on the sidelines, speculations have been awhirl since the beginning of the 2016 season.

With so many question marks for the Eagles this off-season, moving Kendricks wouldn’t catch any one off guard, but is it the right move for them? Here are some Pros and cons of keeping or releasing this one time rising star.

Pro:
Rekindling the fire
If the Eagles were to decide on keeping him around, there would be an argument for it. At one time in his short career, Kendricks, was thought to be a rising star and with good reason. In 15 games started in 2013, he had 106 combined tackles, four sacks, three interceptions, four fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and played 82.3 percent of snaps. Proving to be a legitimate playmaker when healthy, and showing the signs of a star in the making for the Birds’. It’s clear Kendricks has the potential..but a shortened preseason hurt his chances of winning over Jim Schwartz. A true blitzing threat, the Eagles simply didn’t play to his strengths this year. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t in the future..and if they do, he could shine once again.

 

Con:
Present day
In 2016, Kendricks started 8 games, playing a career low 26.8 percent of the defensive snaps. Aside from the Eagles using their nickel package almost as a base defense and forcing Kendricks to the sideline, his play while on the field , left onlookers wanting more. The playmaker he seemed to be, hadn’t been on display from the start of training camp, leading to these rumors to begin with.

 

Pro:
The need isn’t dire
The Eagles have two studs at LB in Nigel Bradham and Jordan Hicks. The position was one of the strongest on the roster during 2016 and also one of the most productive. Let’s not forget rookie Joe Walker, who looked like a gem before getting hurt in preseason. Adding talent to the LB core, either via draft or through free-agency, would be a smart move for the Eagles, but as of now they have bigger needs..and limited cap space to address. Releasing, or trading Kendricks could save them $1.8 million towards the cap, which could in turn, be used to build for the future.

 

Con:
Replacing the veteran

As stated earlier, the Eagles have a bevy of holes on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball and releasing Kendricks would only cause another hole. Kendricks could flourish after another year in the same system, or at least retain a new reputation as a serviceable backup if he can’t prove to be the difference maker he once seemed to be. Although the defense has a few weapons at the LB position, it would be hard to find a player of his skill level and veteran presence, to serve as a backup (EG Stephen Tulloch). The money being paid almost certainly makes his contract an issue that needs to be addressed, but you can’t argue the talent Kendricks once had, and could very well still have.

 

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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