According to Ian Rapoport, don't count out DeMeco Ryans returning to Philadelphia in 2015. The NFL reporter had the following to say about the Eagles veteran linebacker on Wednesday evening.
Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer echoed Rapoport's sentiment earlier on Wednesday.
Not totally convinced DeMeco Ryans is odd ILB out. Chip on Mufasa: "We need DeMeco. ... Just a matter of getting DeMeco healthy again."— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) March 4, 2015
For those asking, DeMeco Ryans' rehab is progressing as expected. He was recently cleared to start running and is full go in weight room.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) March 4, 2015
Ryans' 2015 cap figure is $6.9 million and the Eagles can save all of that money with no penalty by cutting him. The 30-year-old veteran is still recovering from an Achilles injury that ended his 2014 season in early November. It was the second torn Achilles tendon Ryans has suffered in his nine-year career.
Despite this, the Eagles seem intent on keeping him. Perhaps the two sides can agree to a pay cut, or maybe an extension that shuffles the money around in his deal.
As McLane noted, Chip Kelly clearly values Ryans. This is what the Eagles coach said about him in his final press conference of the 2014 season:
"But we need DeMeco. I'm a big DeMeco fan. As a group, he really sets the tone for everybody on the defense side of the ball. So it's just a matter of getting DeMeco healthy again."
The timing of this report is curious. Many assumed Ryans would be the odd man out when news of Kiko Alonso being traded to Philadelphia emerged on Tuesday. Does this mean Alonso will play at outside linebacker, where he has some experience? That seems unlikely. Will there be some kind of rotation with Ryans coming off the bench? Also doesn't seem incredibly likely. So is there another possibility?
McLane had some interesting thoughts on how the return of Ryans could impact young stud Mychal Kendricks.
RE: Mychal Kendricks. Way early, but #Eagles haven't approached him about extension. If ever in plans, doesn't seem likely now with Alonso.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) March 4, 2015
And when I say "if ever in plans," I'm referring to a contract extension for Kendricks this offseason.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) March 4, 2015
There's nothing really concrete or immediate there. But if Ryans is staying and the team just acquired Alonso, could Kendricks be the odd man out?
If so, that would seem pretty crazy because Kendricks is only 24 and very talented. Kendricks is set to play on the final year of his rookie deal in 2015, so it's not like he's expensive yet. My speculation: could Kendricks be part of a trade to help bring Marcus Mariota to Philadelphia? I don't know. We'll see. I'm just trying to make sense of how the pieces would fit if Ryans returns.
Something to keep an eye on moving forward.