EYE on OTAs and why the Eagles released Kendricks

EYE on OTAs and why the Eagles released Kendricks


EYE on OTAs and why the Eagles released Kendricks


The Eagles cut veteran LB Mychal Kendricks and therefore got nothing in return in the way of trade value or free agent compensation down the road. At first look ’tis a puzzlement…but here’s the rationale.

According to Tim McManus of ESPN.com, “Kendricks’ departure does not come as a great surprise despite his quality of play for the Super Bowl champions in 2017. He was scheduled to make $7.6 million this year, another likely factor in the team deciding to move on from him.

“With his playing time dwindling, the 27-year-old Kendricks asked to be dealt or released last offseason. The Eagles opted to hang on to him, and he ended up making valuable contributions during the team’s championship run, finishing with 51 tackles and a pair of sacks. His role increased when fellow linebacker Jordan Hicks was lost to an Achilles rupture in October.

“He played 60 percent of the defensive snaps overall.”

In 2016, he was in for just 27 percent of the snaps, as new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz kept him off the field in most sub packages.

So the Eagles gain about $6 million in extra cap space when all is said and done.

Ironically, the Birds lost another linebacker to a season-ending ACL injury in an OTA drill. Paul Worrilow was signed in April to add competition to a group that includes Jordan Hicks, Nigel BradhamCorey NelsonJoe WalkerNathan Gerry and Kamu Grugier-Hill. Now that group suddenly looks a lot thinner.

To that point,  the Eagles signed linebacker Kyle Wilson on Thursday.

The 6-0, 231-pound Wilson is a rookie free agent out of Arkansas State who participated in the Rookie Camp on a tryout basis. In his two years at Arkansas State, the 22-year-old Wilson had 173 tackles, 26.5 for loss, an interception, and a forced fumble.

Meanwhile the team and Nick Foles agreed to a reworked contract this offseason that includes $14 million in incentives, the specifics of which are largely tied to him being a regular starter for much of the 2018 season.

The initial $250,000 per game number doubles in the playoffs, as Foles would earn $500,000 for each playoff game that he plays at least 33 percent of the snaps, with each playoff win that he plays at least 33 percent of the snaps earning him another $500,000 for a maximum amount of $4 million.

Over the course of the season, if Foles plays at least 33 percent of the total snaps and Philly makes the playoffs, he earns $1 million, while that figure escalates to $1.5 million if he plays at least 50 percent of the snaps. He also has a $500,000 incentive for making the Pro Bowl on the original ballot.

Considering that the breaking news just out is that the Cleveland Browns offered the 35th overall pick to Philly for Foles, and the Eagles brought the offer to Foles who rejected it, it looks like Foles is more than content to remain in his current role with the team.

Funny in a way, but Foles had a “rough outing” in his first 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 drills in OTAs. According to Brandon Lee Gowton who was there, Foles threw two interceptions. The first one was on a deep pass meant for Mike Wallace. The ball ended up being underthrown. Jalen Mills merely tried to bat it down but the ball went into his body and he was able to make a sick one-handed pick. Foles was later picked off on a player where he rolled left a little and side-armed a pass to the right side of the field meant for Nelson Agholor. Sidney Jones made the easy interception. Foles did have a nice throw to Wallace on a quick slant in the red zone for a touchdown. Wallace beat Jalen Mills.

More stuff from BLG:

“Mixed results from Nate Sudfeld in his first full Eagles practice session open to the media. His fade pass to Dallas Goedert in the red zone was picked off by a leaping De’Vante Bausby. Impressive play. Later, Sudfeld tried to air it out deep but his pass for Bryce Treggs was overthrown. Sudfeld showed good accuracy on some shorter and intermediate throws.

• Speaking of practice debuts, we got to see Sidney Jones in extensive action for the first time today. He took the first team reps in the slot along with some second team reps at outside corner. Jones showed no signs of the Achilles injury that robbed him of his rookie season in 2017. He looked quick as ever. Jones’ highlight play was the aforementioned pick on Foles. He had a lowlight when he gave up a catch to Shelton Gibson and then whiffed on the attempt to wrap up the wide receiver.

• Super Bowl hangover? That’s not the sense I got after watching Avonte Maddox drop a tipped pass and seeing the entire defense react like he just dropped the game-clinching play in the Super Bowl. The guys were fired up and clearly glad to be back on the field. Gotta love the energy.

“The aforementioned Bausby, who got reps at second team outside corner, had a real strong day. In addition to his leaping pick, he broke up a few passes. Also managed to run well along with Treggs as the speedy receiver tried to beat him deep. Bausby was on the Chiefs’ roster bubble last year before ending up on Philly’s practice squad. Name to keep an eye on.

• Kamu Grugier-Hill and Nate Gerry took some reps with the first team defense. Grugier-Hill almost made a real impressive one-handed leaping interception in the end zone. Would’ve been a real difficult catch. Instead it turned into a deflection. I thought Kamu looked good in coverage during last year’s practice. He’s picking up right where he left off.

• Nelson Agholor dropped a pass over the middle with Rodney McLeod bearing down on him. I’m actually a little surprised when Agholor has a bad play now, which tells you how far he’s come.

• Rookie safety Jeremy Reaves had at least two plays where he was in position to make BIG hits on pass-catchers. If these weren’t non-contact drills, he could’ve absolutely lit some dudes up. The first instance was on a slot pass over the middle of the field. Then he was about to level Corey Clement in the flat. Shades of Sheldon Brown on Reggie Bush. Luckily for the pass catchers, all Reaves could give them was a light shove.

“Shelton Gibson literally dropped at least one pass in almost every practice last year. I didn’t see him have any drops today. Instead, he actually made some real nice grabs with his hands extended away from his body. Gibson’s route-running also looks much cleaner. Early candidate for this year’s turnaround player.

• Marquess Wilson made a real nice catch on a crossing route with his hands extended. His momentum caused him to stumble but he managed to keep his knees up and get extra yardage. He also made a contested grab along the sideline in the end zone. Wilson and Gibson are the current favorites for the fifth and six receiver spots, in my mind.

• Wendell Smallwood fumbled in non-contact drills. I saw mentioned of a botched handoff, so maybe it wasn’t entirely his fault. Either way, I wasn’t overly impressed by anything I saw out of him or Donnel Pumphrey.”


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