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When the Eagles traded for Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso, the attention was [rightly so] surrounding McCoy’s departure, putting what Alonso’s arrival would mean in terms of the linebacker position on the back-burner. Boasting Alonso, DeMeco Ryans, Mychal Kendricks, Brad Jones, Jordan Hicks and Najee Goode as the team’s linebackers – all of which seem very capable at this level – means something’s likely going to have to give come training camp when the Eagles have to trim their roster to 53. And, according to Mychal Kendricks, he’s already thinking about getting traded:
“I didn’t pay two minutes mind to [the trade rumors], to be honest with you,” he said. “Those are things I can’t control. One thing you got to know in this league is your worth. I think I could play anywhere. Whether that was going to happen or not, at that point in time it didn’t really matter to me.”
Now, surely the Eagles beat had this all planned in advance. With the addition of Alonso, they knew the linebacking corps would have to change significantly. When DeMeco Ryans signed a contract extension in March, the proverbial writing was on the wall in regards to someone losing their starting spot. That someone that the media targeted was Kendricks. And at OTAs on Tuesday, he didn’t pull many punches regarding his possible demotion this coming season.
At the same time, Kendricks didn’t shy away from reminding the public that he considers himself a playmaker of high caliber and would be more than happy to showcase those abilities elsewhere if the Eagles decide to move him.
“I was thinking … dude, I didn’t know what to think,” he said. “It’s just what it was and one thing you’ve got to know about this league is we’re all renting space. This is a straight business and you’ve got to love every aspect of that and respect every aspect of that.
“Hypothetically speaking, if I was to get traded, the next team obviously wants you. If you can play, you can play. And if you play, someone’s got to pay. Regardless, whatever it was, I had no hard feelings, no speculations, no anything. I was just living the moment.”
There’s probably nothing more annoying for a professional athlete to do than to address trade rumors due to another player that was brought in. I’m surprised Kendricks addressed them at all yesterday, but you can clearly see it’s something weighing on his mind. Whether that’ll affect his play if he remains an Eagle come September remains to be seen.