Eagles: Chip Kelly Probably Was Willing to Trade Mychal Kendricks


Following the somewhat surprising news that the Philadelphia Eagles had locked Mychal Kendricks up to a four-year extension on Monday evening, some fans were quick to call the off-season discussion that Chip Kelly may have been willing to deal Mychal Kendricks a ‘media creation’.

I struggle with looking at things that way.

The ‘created’ part of him being available may have been the belief that with the team restructuring DeMeco Ryans‘ deal, trading for Kiko Alonso and drafting Jordan Hicks, that meant the team planned on trading Kendricks.

After injuries decimated the team’s inside linebacker depth in 2014, Kelly may have looked at building more depth at the position as an off-season priority. Still, he may have been willing to trade Kendricks even with that being a goal.

Let’s face it: there are worse fates that Emmanuel Acho being the team’s fourth linebacker behind a unit led by Alonso. Certainly, labeling the group ‘injury prone’ would be fair, but if they were able to stay healthy, something that Kelly seems to believe his sports science system can do, they certainly would still be a pretty deep unit.

None of that is to say Kelly felt like he needed to trade Kendricks, but who am I to use this instance to begin to start discrediting national and local reporters who I normally trust?

So because Kelly seemed to discredit the idea that the Eagles got this far in trade talks for Mariota and has publicly backed Kendricks on numerous occasions before this extension, that means all these reports were a ‘media creation’?

Chip Kelly is innovative, speaks well and sells his program perhaps better than anyone that has ever coached in Philadelphia. But I don’t believe for a second that he wasn’t listening to offers for Kendricks this past off-season simply because he re-signed him now.

Someone suggested to me in the comment section below on another article that by saying that I didn’t believe Kelly was telling the truth when he said that he didn’t offer the megadeal that was reported above for Marcus Mariota — one that included Kendricks — that I was suggesting Kelly was ‘a liar’. That’s not the case, but lying or misleading the public about certain things in sports normally works in the favor of the organization.

For example, Ruben Amaro and Pat Gillick both suggested a day before Chase Utley was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers that he was unlikely to be traded. 24 hours after that, he was at the podium discussing what his time in Philadelphia meant. Those two aren’t as popular as Kelly, but the point is that they were posturing for position through the media.

Kelly did something similar in this case. He clearly wanted Marcus Mariota, another thing that people have suggested that the media was ‘fooled on’, but the Titans decided there was nothing the Eagles could offer to land him. From that point, why would Kelly come out to the public and be honest about having been willing to deal Kendricks, Fletcher Cox or anyone else?

Simply because something doesn’t happen, doesn’t mean that the original report wasn’t true. And simply because Kelly might have been willing to deal Kendricks in a package for a high draft pick or what he viewed as a franchise-changing quarterback doesn’t mean he doesn’t appreciate his talent. Because as it turns out, Kelly likes Kendricks quite a bit.

Next: Morning Phil-Up: Sam Bradford at Risk in Read-Option?

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