Eagles Should Explore Reunion with Super Bowl Champion LB

Getty Images Mychal Kendricks during practice with the Eagles.

The Eagles are counting on T.J. Edwards to fill the void left by Nigel Bradham. Maybe they should give old friend Mychal Kendricks a phone call.

Sure, things didn’t end great during his initial stint in Philadelphia. The 29-year-old linebacker requested a trade out of town before being released prior to training camp in 2018. Kendricks was also charged by federal prosecutors for inside trading after it was revealed he supplied Eagles tickets and other kickbacks to his business partner. The two-year-old case has been twice delayed since he fist plead guilty in 2018.

Meanwhile, Kendricks has spent the past two seasons in Seattle where he started 14 games in 2019 and finished with 71 tackles and three sacks. Say what you want about his inner demons, the guy can still play at a high level. Remember, Kendricks was a key piece during the Eagles’ improbable Super Bowl run in 2017 and accounted for four tackles in their 41-33 victory over New England.

There’s always a rub, though. In addition to his legal troubles, Kendricks is coming off a torn ACL that he suffered in Week 17 last season and sidelined him for the playoffs. The Seahawks decided to move on from the aging linebacker after drafting Jordyn Brooks in the first round (27th overall). And Kendricks is currently a free agent.

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Kendricks Shared Interesting Thoughts on Zach Ertz

Prior to his arrival in Seattle, Kendricks had a cup of coffee in Cleveland during their 2018 training camp where he was prominently featured on HBO’s hit show “Hard Knocks.”

In one mesmerizing scene, he took center stage to share a scouting report about the Philadelphia Eagles. He was rather complimentary of all his former Super Bowl teammates, although his comments about Zach Ertz raised a few eyebrows.

Kendricks, with his Browns teammates hanging on every word, indicated that Ertz doesn’t like to get hit. His exact words were “he doesn’t want any smoke.”

“Eighty-six, I think, is the best receiver on the team. Notice I said receiver,” Kendricks said, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “When it comes to blocking, you f—— hit his a– over and over and over, he doesn’t want any smoke.”

The former second-round pick also revealed the secret to Nick Foles’ “teardrop effect” deep passes and the fact that Halapoulivaati Vaitai doesn’t “trust his confidence.” Both players are no longer with the Eagles.

Should Eagles Sign Super Bowl Starter for Insurance?

If the question is will they … the answer is a firm no. But, should they? Maybe. It’s an interesting conundrum for a franchise in dire need of a veteran linebacker.

While the arrow is trending upward for second-year man T.J. Edwards — Pro Football Focus named him a breakout candidate and graded him at 86.6 in 2019 — it’s never a bad idea to have an insurance policy. Kendricks would be all that and more. He has registered 548 combined tackles in his eight-year career, plus 19 sacks and four interceptions.

He was always considered a valuable blitzer and decent in coverage, but sometimes struggled in open space and whiffed on some easy tackles. Even so, Kendricks was good enough to make 74 starts during his six years in Philly and held his own in the Super Bowl. They could do a lot worse.

As for that lingering legal problem, well, he’s not scheduled back in court until Oct. 14, 2020. It’s likely to be postponed again and Kendricks may be allowed to play in a full 16-game schedule this year. The bigger problem would be his recovery from offseason knee surgery.

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