Philadelphia Eagles: Tennessee won the Dennis Kelly trade

(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

After a hot-and-cold three-year tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles, Dennis Kelly has reinvented his career as a swing tackle for the Tennessee Titans.

When the Philadelphia Eagles traded Dennis Kelly to the Tennessee Titans for former second-round pick Dorial Green-Beckham, it seemed abundantly clear which party won the trade.

Granted, Kelly wasn’t a terrible player, but after shuffling in and out of the Eagles’ starting lineup for three seasons, logging snaps at both guard and tackle, but procuring a 6-foot-5, 225 pound Adonis fresh off a promising rookie campaign for his services seemed like a major win for Howie Roseman in his first season back at the front office helm after the disastrous Chip Kelly-era.

Boy were we wrong.

More from Philadelphia Eagles

After suffering through a single incredibly frustrating season in 2016, where he caught 36 balls on 74 targets for 392 yards and two touchdowns, the Eagles released DGB on June 30th, 2017 – opting to move forward with Alshon Jeffery as their new big-bodied WR1.

And as for Kelly?

Well, he was on the sideline at the Birds’ preseason debut, still a member of the Titans three years later.

While Kelly is no longer competing for a starting spot across the Titans’ line, as he did for much of his tenure in Philly, he’s settled pretty naturally into a new role as a swing tackle coming off the bench; a role he’s thrived in since 2016.

Over the last three seasons, Kelly has appeared in 43 games for the Titans, logging 701 snaps at tackle. Though he’s only started a handful of games each season (12 in total), Kelly played a pivotal role in Mike Mularkey‘s offense as an auxiliary lineman coming off the bench, crafting a six-man look for an ultra power running formation.

The Eagles used this sort of a look with both Brent Celek and Isaac Seumalo coming off the bench in 2016 and 2017 respectively, but lacked this sort of big-bodied formation in 2018 due to a lack of having a genuinely athletic swing tackle on the roster (though that should no longer be the case in 2019 thanks to Andre Dillard).

And in a weird twist of fate, Kelly may actually be in line for his highest usage rating since his rookie campaign for Andy Reid‘s squad all the way back in 2012.

On July 24th, 2019, the Titans’ starting left tackle Taylor Lewan announced that he would miss the first four games of the regular season after testing positive for a banned substance – a substance he didn’t know he was taking. While the legitimacy of Lewan’s claim is a bit hard to judge, his four-game absence will give Kelly another crack at a starting spot on second-year head coach Mike Vrabel‘s top line across from Jack Conklin – a former first-round pick out of Michigan State who just so happens to have his fifth-year option decline suffering an ACL tear midway through the 2018 season.

Next. Don’t forget about L.J. Fort just yet. dark

While it would be a bit surprising to see Kelly run with this opportunity and earn a new long-term contract as the Titans’ new starting right tackle at the tender age of 29, it seems a whole lot more likely than Dorial Green-Beckham becoming a starter, as he hasn’t been in the league since 2016 and was most recently headed to jail after violating the terms of his probation following an arrest for possessing eight (!?) pounds of pot in December of 2018. Needless to say, the Philadelphia Eagles definitely lost the Dennis Kelly trade.