Patriots Mailbag: Should New England Pursue Linebacker Mychal Kendricks?


May 25, 2018

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski still haven’t reported to organized team activities, the New England Patriots’ rookies still have wacky numbers and the NFL is still having trouble getting out of its own way, so let’s just get straight into this week’s mailbag.

How much interest do the pats have in former Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks?
— @IthinkImKP
It’s tough to say how much interest they have, but I think they should certainly look into signing him.

It seemed inevitable Kendricks would hit the open market at some point this offseason, though the Philadelphia Eagles certainly didn’t do him any favors when they released him Tuesday by waiting until late May.

Kendricks had a $7.6 million cap hit in 2018, and it feels like he’s reportedly been on the trade block for most of his career. Trading Kendricks, with a cap hit that large, was never realistic.

Even after drafting Ja’Whaun Bentley and Christian Sam, the Patriots still could use some linebacker help. They have Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy as starters and Bentley, Sam, Elandon Roberts, Marquis Flowers, Harvey Langi, Nicholas Grigsby and Brandon King as depth.

Kendricks, at 6 feet, 240 pounds, would add a different, athletic element into the Patriots’ linebacker corps. He was Pro Football Focus’ ninth-best linebacker in 2017.

I don’t think the Patriots need Kendricks. But if the price is right, then I think he could be effective as a No. 2 or 3 linebacker who specializes in coverage.

Who has more catches this year Mitchell or Matthews #MailDoug
— @Castles_Burning
That’s a really tough question, and it depends almost entirely on Malcolm Mitchell’s health.

If he actually plays, this season, then it’s Mitchell. But it’s a bad sign that Mitchell already wasn’t at practice Tuesday in the Patriots’ first open organized team activities session.

My guess is the Patriots are just already managing Mitchell’s practice reps. It’s possible he re-aggravated a knee injury while participating Monday on Day 1 of OTAs, but the Patriots held Mitchell out of practices even as far back as his rookie season in an attempt to keep him healthy. It hasn’t really helped, but they’re trying.

At first I thought Jordan Matthews was a virtual lock (if healthy) to make the roster and even contribute on a gamely basis. According to Mike Reiss however, it seems like Britt and Dorsett might have the edge on him. How would you rank those three? Who’s in, who’s out?#MailDoug
— @m_vill9
I definitely wouldn’t say Matthews is a virtual lock, but I personally would keep him on the roster over Phillip Dorsett.

I know it was tough for Dorsett to join the team right before Week 1 and try to catch up as the season went along. But he produced so little in plenty of playing time. He wound up with just 12 catches for 194 yards. He was one of the lowest-targeted receivers per route run in recent history.

And it’s not as if Dorsett has done much during his entire career. Drafted in 2015, he has 63 career receptions for 947 yards with three touchdowns. Matthews, drafted in 2014, has 250 career receptions for 2,955 yards with 20 touchdowns. Neither contributed much to their respective teams in difficult situations last year (Matthews joined the Buffalo Bills via trade last August), but Matthews at least has a greater history of success.

I thought Kenny Britt looked good Tuesday. I’d keep him around too. He’s two years removed from a 1,000-yard season and has rare size.

Yesterday some media published Rob Gronkowsky could be traded to LA, is ir true?
— @m_vill9
I guess it’s possible, if only because any player could be traded. But it’s unlikely, especially if Gronkowski and the Patriots are close to agreeing to a tweaked contract.

I also don’t know what the Chargers would be willing to give the Patriots that would come close to equaling Gronkowski’s value in 2018. If the Patriots lost Gronkowski for any reason and didn’t replace him with a similar talent, then I doubt they still would be Super Bowl favorites (for good reason).

Let’s go rapid fire.

I have a hunch A.J. Moore could sneak onto the roster as a special teamer and nickelback, replacing Jordan Richards. Thoughts?
— @mattstdream
I have very few thoughts on A.J. Moore. He didn’t stand out like Keion Crossen, Ryan Lewis, Duke Dawson and J.C. Jackson, if you’re talking about under-the-radar defensive backs, during the Patriots’ first open OTA session Tuesday.

Moore does have prototypical measurables for a Patriots special teams player with a 4.40-second 40-yard dash at 5-foot-11, 200 pounds. He didn’t test well in the 3-cone or short shuttle, but those drills are less important on special teams, which relies more on straight-line speed.

Cordarrelle Patterson for Top 10 WR. Not a question but a hot take. Don’t @ me Doug.
— @JP_Shanahan
Top 10 on the Patriots? No doubt.

Patterson looked good Tuesday. We’ll see if he can keep it up.

Top 5 fast food chains? #MailDoug
— @StephenPorier
That’s really tough. I’m not going to include fast-casual restaurants like Shake Shack, Five Guys, Chipotle, Qdoba, etc.

I’ll go with:

1. Taco Bell
2. Popeyes
3. Chick-Fil-A
4. Whataburger
5. In-N-Out

Popeyes, Chick-Fil-A, Whataburger and In-N-Out might be better than Taco Bell, but they’re not nearly as accessible. Taco Bell gets extra points for that.

I almost put McDonald’s on here. I think McDonald’s gets a bad rap, but it’s the classic.

Since the injury of Hunter Henry do you think the Pats will try to trade Dwayne Allen to them for picks? #MailDoug
— @Whyknow_413
I don’t think there’s much trade value in a $5 million tight end who caught 10 passes last season.

Who’s the most refreshing guy on the pats roster to interview? Someone who’s a wildcard and won’t go for the standard robotic answers to questions?
— @ollycurtisUC
Duron Harmon. He got robbed for the 2017 Ron Hobson Good Guy Award, which is given to the player who best cooperates with the media.

Devin McCourty won, and he’s certainly deserving too, but Harmon’s answers are less “standard,” if that’s the term we’re going with.

Does Tom Brady really run a carpentry business on the side?
— @DABumpus17
How can you argue with the evidence?

Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images
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