MYCHAL Kendricks requested a trade in the offseason, and many Eagles fans reacted by throwing bitch-fits, while saying dumb shit like “Trade his ass” and, “If he wants to leave, fine, trade him”. I called it ‘dumb shit’, because it’s purely an emotional reaction, and it doesn’t take into account a single fact with bearing on the team’s upcoming season.
Odds are that the Offense will still have to iron out some chemistry issues, early in the year. So we’ll have to lean on the Defense to carry the team, when the season starts. However, if we sabotage the Defense, we could wreck the entire season beginning Week One. Let me paint you a picture.
First of all, Kendricks asked for that trade during the offseason. That was prior to Training Camp, prior to mandatory OTA’s, or even prior (according to ESPN) to the Draft in April. Due to how much Nickel we played, Kendricks didn’t play much in 2016 (just 27% of the year’s defensive snaps).
Despite not playing him much, the Eagles told Kendricks flat out, that he’s talented and that they want to hold onto him. For his part, he wants to play, and be able to play himself into a bigger contract in the future. Imagine that. A guy who wants to earn his money. And fans take issue with that? Really?
At first it seems like maybe it’s a lost cause. I mean, the system we run, is the system we run, right? Wrong. In July (this would be AFTER Kendricks made his feelings known), Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz, told the world about a philosophical shift in our scheme that would better take advantage of Kendricks’ strengths. So Kendricks doesn’t have to leave here to play, and earn a bigger pay day down the line.
That means the situation today, isn’t what it was when Kendricks asked for that trade. This is why Kendricks had no qualms about mentioning it. While the issue could always come up again, (for now at least) it’s a quashed matter.
As for derailing the season, we’re already thin at LB. We’re not thin at OLB, or ILB, or MLB. We’re thin at LB, period. That’s even with Kendricks. Now factor in OLB Nigel Bradham facing a possible six game suspension, over an assault charge that earned him probation instead of jail time.
Trading Kendricks and losing Bradham for six games would practically rip the guts out of 2017 before it even started. The closest thing we have to an experienced hand at the position is Najee Goode. Goode has one career start in five seasons, and 21 of his career 42 tackles happened in 2013.
Of course one of the young guys could make a splash. Maybe all one of these guys needs is a chance. That could be true, but without much experience in game-time situations, it’s far more likely that they’d make costly errors, learning on the job. In fact, it wouldn’t hurt this team to add a guy like Josh Bynes or Donald Butler to the roster.
So with no depth and a possible suspension looming, we are in no position, no position, to be giving away talent. Especially not over some fans having a knee-jerk, over-emotional reaction to a feeling of rejection, over an issue that was dead before they ever heard of it.
Eagles fans are known for being a tough bunch. Quit making us look like bitches.