I guess it was inevitable, since the Eagles have not had a ticket price increase since 2014, but the timing is questionable after a 7-9 season.
The average cost of a ticket is going up $7, from $99 to $106. The biggest ticket price hike will be $15 for some of the lower level seats, while the smallest increase will be $5 per ticket.
According to Statista, the Eagles ranked 10th in average ticket cost in 2016 and fourth in the NFC East behind the New York Giants (third, $123), Washington Redskins (fourth, $120) and Dallas Cowboys (ninth, $110).
Apparently the increase in gross income will not be applied to extending the contract of linebacker Mychal Kendricks.
Kendricks carries a $6.6 million cap hit this season. The Eagles would get $1.8 million in relief if they decided to move on from him. There’s a sense of urgency to the situation: $4.35 million of Kendricks’ salary becomes guaranteed on the third day of the league year (March 11, 2017).
Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice recently wrote that the Eagles are willing to move on from Kendricks, and that the 26-year-old linebacker is expected to have some suitors.
Tim McManus of ESPN.com reminds us the writing has been on the Kendricks wall for some time now. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz limited Kendricks to just 27 percent of the defensive snaps in 2016, using him almost exclusively in base packages. Not surprisingly, Kendricks finished with a career low in tackles (32) and posted zero sacks.
“That’s a far cry from Kendricks’ second season, in 2013, when he posted over 100 tackles, four sacks and three interceptions. He has been unable to fully recapture that form in the years since, as injuries and a freewheeling style of play have created some dependability issues.”
“There are some flaws in his game, but he remains an exceptional athlete that can be effective when deployed in a specific way. If there is a criticism of Schwartz’s handling of Kendricks, it’s that he didn’t fully cater to his strengths. Kendricks is at his best when used as a blitzing linebacker, but the system didn’t call for him to do much of that in 2016. Surely, there is a better scheme fit out there.”
That last statement by McManus implies there actually is a trade market for Kendricks.
The trade scenario for the NFL kicks off on March 9th:
Prior to 4:00 PM ET
- NFL teams must exercise options for 2017 on any player with option clauses in their 2016 contracts
- NFL teams must submit qualifying offers to players with expiring contracts who will become Restricted Free Agents to ensure team has Compensation or Right of First Refusal
- NFL teams must submit a Minimum Salary Tender to players who will become Exclusive-Rights Free Agents (expiring contracts and fewer than 3 accrued seasons)
4:00 PM ET
- All 2016 player contracts expire
- 2017 NFL league year and free agency begin
- Top-51 salary cap rule begins – only the 51 highest cap hits for each NFL team apply to the salary cap through the offseason
- All teams must be under the salary cap for 2017
- Trades are allowed for 2017
I always liked Mychal Kendricks’ upside with the Eagles. The question now is it worth a $6.6 million cap hit in 2017?
Maybe that money would be better spent on bringing in a high-impact free agent—and you’d have to pick your poison carefully with that move. To draw a historic parallel to the 2000-2005 Eagles who moved into instant competitive relevance after a head coach/QB combo rookie season in 1999, it was the free agent signing of right tackle Jon Runyan from Tennessee to a six-year contract that made him the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history—and catalyzed a winning turnaround for the offense.
That’s an extreme example— but if the choice is to keep Mychal Kendricks or roll the dice on a pricey difference-maker, what would you do?