Last week, the Philadelphia Eagles released veteran linebacker Mychal Kendricks. Many Indianapolis Colts fans — us included — clamored for the Colts to make an attempt at Kendricks to help fortify their linebacker corps. Fast forward a week and Yahoo’s Jordan Schultz revealed the three teams that are in on Kendricks, the Colts not among them.
Including the Colts, all four of those teams operate a 4-3 base defense and need quality depth in their lineup. Kendricks has moved around in both 4-3 and 3-4 defenses during his first six seasons. He played SAM linebacker for the Eagles as of late, reportedly in part because he has been known to struggle in pass coverage at times.
The Minnesota Vikings are also home to Mychal’s brother, Eric. Who knows which spot they would have him play but they are well set in two of the three spots with Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr.
The Oakland Raiders have a main group of Derrick Johnson, Bruce Irvin, Tahir Whitehead, Emmanuel Lamur. Johnson (35) is definitely up there in age, Irvin is best utilized as a pass rusher, and Whitehead and Lamur aren’t necessarily game-changers.
The Cleveland Browns also have a decent group featuring Jamie Collins, Christian Kirksey, Joe Schobert and rookie Genard Avery, but they could always use more competition near the top. With Eric playing for the Vikings and the Raiders being in Mychal’s home state (for now), Cleveland seems like the least likely option.
If Kendricks is to play SAM at his next destination, that’s probably the most open of the three linebacker roles in the Colts defense. Either Anthony Walker or Najee Goode should take the starting MIKE spot with Darius Leonard being the WILL. Walker (if he doesn’t win the MIKE spot), Antonio Morrison and rookie Matthew Adams make sense as the main competition at SAM currently.
With Schultz saying that Kendricks is meeting with the three other teams this week and that he is expected to also have a decision by week’s end, it seems as if any other team being his destination is unlikely.