PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – On Monday the Eagles finally broke their month-long silence after releasing DeSean Jackson on March 28th. Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman explained the move was purely a “football decision”, and Eagles general manager Roseman joined Angelo Cataldi and the WIP Morning Show to discuss the matter further.
“We’ve kind of re-configured our wide receiver position, obviously not done there, but we looked at it as what are we looking for at at each position and how could we spend money at certain places and where else do we have to go,” Roseman told the WIP Morning Show on Wednesday morning.
Under Roseman, the Eagles resigned Jackson in 2012 to a lucrative five year extension worth $47 million. Roseman explains the coaching staff under Andy Reid in 2012 is much different than the present coaching staff under Chip Kelly.
“Obviously, we’ve changed coaching staffs and this coaching staff is looking for different things from a lot of positions than our last coaching staff, it’s different schemes,” Roseman explained. “So, I think we have to adjust to it. Obviously, I was here. I was part of that [contract]. That was a decision that we made and I thought it was the right decision at the time. Now, as we go forward, we’re trying to figure out how to keep everyone together and how we can do that.”
Jackson, who was coming off the best season of his career (82 catches, 1,332 yards, 9 touchdowns), was abruptly released by the Eagles in March, minutes after a story was published by NJ.com linking Jackson to gang affiliations. Many fans were confused and wanted answers, but the Eagles remained silent for about a month. Cataldi questioned why the Eagles, who are usually very fan-friendly, chose not to speak for so long.
“I think that’s a very fair question,” Roseman answered. “Just knowing me the way you know me, I want to be available. I want to talk about everything, but we had to figure out, just going forward, what kind of precedent we’re setting. Are we talking about every player we’re letting go? Have we talked about players that we’ve lost in free agency? That we’ve traded? That we’ve cut? And then we felt like it was a slippery slope and really we feel like our obligation was to our players and to know that when we make a decision it’s going to be us and them and that’s how we’re going to handle it and it was hard. I’m not telling you — it wasn’t easy. I’m glad to be our your show. I’m glad we’re back out there.”
The NFL Draft begins in eight days on Thursday, May 8th. The Eagles have the 22nd pick in the draft and Roseman explains their draft board is graded into tiers and while the Eagles will draft the best available player, if that best available player is in the same tier as a player of need, the Eagles may draft the player of need.
“We have tiers,” Roseman explained. “So we’ll have the same kind of definition. We think this group of players is going to be a Pro Bowl player, right? So if we think that guy — we have three guys in that group and one of them is at a position we need, we may take the need there.”
The most talked about player in the NFL draft is, without question, quarterback Johnny Manziel who Kelly recruited while he was coaching at Oregon. Kelly spoke on Monday about Manziel saying, “He broke my heart. I love the kid. I think he’s a hell of a football player.”
Roseman didn’t rule out the possibility of Manziel, but did acknowledge the incredible success quarterback Nick Foles had last season with the Eagles.
“We’re going to stick to our board on that,” Roseman said of the possibility of drafting Manziel. “I think that for us, it all depends on the grade. I think that when coach was talking about it he was talking about recruiting and there’s a lot of players in this draft, when we get in the draft room, that coach is excited about too. I would say 29 touchdown, two interceptions. Man. If you’re a second year quarterback in the league and you get those kind of numbers that’s pretty good.”
One thing that is certain come this year’s draft, is that wide receiver is the deepest position in the draft and Roseman says the Eagles will draft at least one.
“I don’t think that you have to go into the draft saying we got to get one in [round] one, we’ve got to get one in [round] two,” Roseman explained. “I think, and we’ll test this when I’m on the phone next time after the draft, I think we’re going to be in every round going, ‘Man that guy is still on the board?’ Because there’s too many [receivers]. I think that we will, in all likelihood, come out of this draft with at least one receiver.”