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July 28, 2017

Mychal Kendricks says he asked Eagles for trade in January

Eagles NFL

On Friday, Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks told a group of reporters* that he requested a release or trade way back in January, but the Eagles said no.

Kendricks reportedly did not rule out a trade eventually coming, via Tim McManus of ESPN.

"No, it's never closed. There's a million teams out there. You've only gotta have one of them that loves you, one of them that likes what you're doing. There's 32 out there. It's never closed. Everyone's up. We're all renting space here, coaches included."

Back in February, PhillyVoice reported that a trade of Kendricks was likely. While it was reported that the Eagles came close to a deal with the San Francisco 49ers at around the same time as the NFL Combine in March, obviously Kendricks remains an Eagle.

From 2012 to 2015, Kendricks was a regular starter in the Eagles' defense. However, in his first year under Jim Schwartz, Kendricks was the third linebacker in the Eagles' pecking order, behind Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham, who both played far more snaps.

Eagles LBs Snaps Percentage of snaps 
 Nigel Bradham990  97.1%
 Jordan Hicks971  95.2%
 Mychal Kendricks273  26.8%

Here is how Kendricks' usage in 2016 compares with the rest of his career:

Mychal Kendricks Games played Snaps Percentage of snaps
 201215 (14 starts) 926 88.4% 
 2013 15 (15 starts)991 82.3% 
 2014 12 (11 starts)761 65.7% 
 2015 13 (13 starts)628 51.8% 
 201615 (8 starts) 273 26.8% 

As you can see, Kendricks' percentage of snaps has decreased each year.

While Kendricks has been bad at times, he has flashed his athletic ability at other times. Unfortunately for Kendricks, Schwartz was unable to find creative ways to use him to the best of his abilities. For example, in the view of many talent evaluators, Kendricks' best trait as a linebacker is his blitzing ability. In 2016, Kendricks rushed the passer a grand total of just nine times, according to ProFootballFocus.

Here's a look at the Eagles' depth chart (as we see it) at linebacker:

Eagles LBs
OLB Nigel Bradham Najee Goode  
 MLB Jordan Hicks Joe WalkerDon Cherry 
 OLB Mychal Kendricks Nathan Gerry (R)Kamu Grugier-Hill 

While the Eagles may hope that some of their younger linebacker depth pans out, it's far from a sure thing. Therefore, it wouldn't make much sense to just get rid of Kendricks for nothing. 

In May, we suggested a swap of Kendricks for Bears CB Kyle Fuller. We'll see. While the Eagles may have told Kendricks "no" on a trade, per Kendricks, they would absolutely unload him for something worthwhile in return.

*To note, PhillyVoice was not in on the interview session, but we don't know who specifically to credit, as a whole gaggle of reporters reported it. Yes, I said "gaggle."

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