Eagles news and notes for 1/23
Cap hit: $6.6M
Roob: Kendricks, on the other hand, may still have more value to the Eagles here than elsewhere. You could save $1.8 million under the cap by releasing him, and maybe they will. But, geeze, he’s still just 26 years old and still has the athleticism and tools that made him the 46th player taken in the 2012 draft. I’m not sure what happened to Kendricks. Somewhere along the line, all that potential just sort of stopped turning into plays. Kendricks had 12 sacks, three interceptions and six forced fumbles in his first four seasons but no big plays this past year as his playing time dwindled. I have to think Kendricks is worth keeping around for another year and trying to salvage something out of him on special teams if nothing else. Kendricks was drafted ahead of Bobby Wagner and Lavonte David. Do you just give up on him before his 27th birthday? And it’s not like the Eagles are exactly loaded with young talent at linebacker. So I think they try one more year with Kendricks.
Dave: What’s happened to Kendricks over the past few years has been wild. He went from ultimate fan favorite on the brink of becoming a Pro Bowler with a new contract to a complete afterthought. Kendricks barely played in 2016 and it was clear he wasn’t happy about that. Maybe he can make a difference in a different defense. He’s still young and athletic and could fit in another defense. The Eagles should try everything they can to trade him and get something out of him. It wouldn't save them a lot of money ($1.8 million), but it might just be time to cut ties.
All in all, the Eagles had a good offseason in 2016. They added a franchise QB in Carson Wentz. They found some young pieces for the OL. They added a talented rookie RB. They signed a good FS in Rodney McLeod. The Eagles added some young players like DGB, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Destiny Vaeao, Byron Marshall, Joe Walker, Bryce Treggs, Paul Turner and Aaron Grymes who might turn out to be good role players.
The team still has plenty of holes. No one thinks the Eagles are a finished product. It takes several good offseasons to build a team up. 2016 was a start for the new combination of Howie Roseman, Doug Pederson and Joe Douglas.
I wrote a piece for PE.com on how the Eagles can learn some lessons from the teams that did make the playoffs.
There is no magic formula, but you can see a few things. One of the most interesting ideas for me is that key players can be found all over the place. Free agent OG Kelechi Osemele turned out to be a huge signing for the Raiders. Tyreek Hill was a 5th round pick and he had a huge impact for the Chiefs. Atlanta had a couple of young players take a big step forward, WR Taylor Gabriel and LB/DE Vic Beasley. Gabriel they signed after the Browns cut him and Beasely was a high draft pick who disappointed them as a rookie.
Not every key move is an elite FA signing or 1st round pick. Help can be found all over the place.
Perhaps one of the biggest steps in that pre-draft process for Wentz was his appearance at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. As the Senior Bowl practices get set to start this week, it’s interesting to see just how big of an effect it had on Wentz’s draft stock.
Wentz’s championship-level playing tape elevated him toward the top of most quarterback rankings, but there were some around the league who felt that he still had much to prove in drills and game action with an increased level of talent around him.
“Wentz has an NFL-style skill-set with his physical tools and intelligence, but the missing variable is experience against top competition,” wrote Dane Brugler of CBS Sports. “In my opinion, he has solidified himself as a first-round player, but his performance in Mobile will go a long way in determining just how high in the first round he will be drafted.”
As it turned out, Wentz lived up to all of the hype and delivered a highly impressive week in front of NFL coaches and scouts in Mobile. He proved to not only be the top quarterback in attendance, but perhaps one of the best players regardless of position. He played just one quarter in the Senior Bowl game itself, but his week of practice and interviews proved to teams – like the Eagles – that Wentz had the potential to be a franchise-changing quarterback.
“It was just fun,” Wentz said on the sideline during the game in an interview with NFL Network’s Alex Flanagan. “There were some good (defensive backs), a lot of SEC guys out there who can fly around and make some plays. It was fun to just get out there and play and compete.