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March 31, 2018

Mailbag: What is Mychal Kendricks' trade value?

In our weekly Eagles chat on Thursday, there were a lot of questions that we could not get to in time or other questions we did answer but could use more color. And so, let's do a mailbag post to answer some of the overflow.

Question from Alex: If the Eagles trade Mychal Kendricks, what would they get in return for him?

I asked Howie Roseman at the owner’s meetings what the acquisition of former Broncos linebacker Corey Nelson meant for Kendricks’ future with the team.

“Mychal Kendricks is under contract,” he said. “He played well for us last year. These are questions we go into every year I feel like with Mychal Kendricks, so nothing has changed in regard to Mychal’s status.”

Roseman is right that Kendricks has been the subject of trade speculation, seemingly since like 1987. At the same time though, there has been merit to that speculation. The Eagles were reportedly looking for a fifth-round pick for Kendricks a year ago. They almost dealt him to the San Francisco 49ers at the 2017 NFL Combine.

In 2018, Kendricks will count for $7.6 million against the cap, $4.4 million of which they would save if they traded him. His cap number will jump to $8.6 million in 2019. 

I think the Eagles would be happy with a fifth-round pick this year too, even with Kendricks improving last season, though I'm not so sure they'll get it.

Question from Robb Gaylord: I still don’t understand how Nick Foles was so bad the last two regular season games. What happened? How was it such a “night and day” difference between the regular season and playoffs?

I do think Foles simply played better, but it was kickstarted by Doug Pederson, Frank Reich, and John DeFilippo.

The Eagles’ coaching staff worked really hard (and smartly) with Foles, determining what offensive concepts he was comfortable with, and adjusting the offense to fit his strengths. The staff has gotten credit for those efforts, but I think it has been undersold. Transforming Foles from the player he looked like at the end of the regular season into the one that he looked like in the playoffs might be one of the best coaching feats in NFL history. Is that hyperbole?

Question from Mike: Do you see Jay Ajayi as a long-term answer at running back?

I don’t. The Eagles were holding him out of practice last year, citing his “well-known” knee issues. He’s 24 years old, and the Eagles were already trying to preserve his knees.

I think the Eagles saw themselves as Super Bowl contenders around mid-season, and jumped at the opportunity to add a player of Ajayi’s caliber for a late fourth-round pick. Obviously, that ended up being a smart move, as Ajayi was productive for them down the stretch, but I don’t think he’s a player the Eagles view as a long-term piece.

Question from Big Daddy Wilks: Who is the least friendly Eagles player to interview/cover?

The current roster doesn’t have too many guys like that. In my time covering the team, the worst, by far, was Jason Babin. DeMarco Murray wasn’t awesome either.

Question from Vinny Bag O’ Donuts: Piggy-backing on the question about playing the Rams on the road two seasons in a row, isn’t that good for the Eagles, though? I know the Rams are tough, but at least a lot of Eagles fans will be in attendance?

During our chat on Thursday, I received a question from a fan wondering if it was unfair that the Eagles had to play the Rams on the road two years in a row. My answer focused on explaining the mechanics of how the schedules are determined, but this point by Vinny Bag O’ Donuts is a great one. Eagles fans flooded the stadium in each of their two L.A. games last year, and in my opinion, helped affect the outcomes of those games.

Question from JimmyJohns: Do you really think that in a town like Philly that Carson can play safely without an angry mob screaming for Foles every time Wentz has an overthrow?

Eagles fans (and Philly fans in general) can be rough, unquestionably, but they aren’t knuckle-dragging morons. They can see how good Wentz is, and that he’s a far, faaaaar better player than Foles. There may be a few idiots who act that way if Wentz has some early struggles, but I would imagine they’d quickly be shouted down by the overwhelmingly reasonable ones.

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