PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Emmanuel Acho…how about you start off this post for us:
Chip Kelly won a power struggle and was given complete control of the Eagles player personnel department and for an entire season, we all thought he was the General Manager. Apparently he wasn’t, but essentially he was in that he had a lot to say about what players were on the field in midnight green.
Even before he officially took over the personnel department, Kelly had major say in what players were here and perhaps more importantly, in what players were not here.
Kelly might have ultimately won in his struggle for power, but it might have been too much power that wound up losing him his job.
We take a look back at the five worst roster decisions made in Chip Kelly’s time in Philadelphia.
It’s funny how much can change in a matter of months. Earlier this year, Eagles fans were laughing in the face of any Cowboys fan they could find to remind them they had stolen away the league’s leading rusher in DeMarco Murray.
In 2014, Murray was the NFL’s premiere rusher as he rushed for 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns. With one game left in 2015, Murray has rushed for 633 yards and five touchdowns.
Fans don’t want him on the field and Murray has been relegated to being one of the highest paid backup running backs in football.
Sadly, we can’t say we saw it coming. Signing Murray was like Christmas morning in Philadelphia and was elevated to an even higher level because of the surprising trade of LeSean McCoy prior.
The bottomline is that Murray hasn’t been a fit to this point. Kelly didn’t bend his system to fit Murray and perhaps a new coach will.
Despite signing Murray and Byron Maxwell, this was the signature move of the short-lived Kelly Personnel Head era. The Eagles offense set statistical record after record with Foles at the helm and while it was clear he wasn’t the greatest quarterback in the league, he did have a certain level of success here.
Bradford was supposed to be the franchise guy and to be fair…maybe the jury is still out on Bradford.
He had some good games for the Eagles this season after coming off several ACL tears. He could look like a different man next season in a new system and ultimately, Foles was benched in St. Louis.
Players aside, what made this trade so bad was the 2nd round pick given up. With a new coach coming in, the Eagles need picks that high in the draft to start building something to that coach’s liking. Kelly mortgaged a bit of the future to get Bradford — a future that he now won’t be around for.
The main narrative following this trade, dealt with LeSean McCoy’s dramatic and accusatory relationship with his former coach. Fans were happy McCoy was gone, but it was mostly due to his handling of the trade and not because of production.
Bottomline, Kelly traded away the leading rusher in team history for an injured middle linebacker who saw limited snaps in 2015 because he wasn’t the best player at his position.
McCoy went to Buffalo and has rushed for 895 yards in just 12 games played. He’s out produced Murray and even though the Eagles did wind up beating the Bills, they lost this trade.
The Eagles offense has been missing something since the enigmatic release of DeSean Jackson. That something is a wide receiver that can be a consistent deep threat for the offense.
Jackson is one of the most dangerous deep threats in the NFL and the Eagles offense would have been lucky to have someone capable of getting open beyond 20 yards this season. Jackson was the first head-scratcher when it came down to Kelly gutting the team of playmakers.
Kelly and the Eagles also sat back, silent, as Jackson’s name was disparaged with links to gangs and other off the field issues. Whether true or not, Kelly was arrogant enough to make it seem like a purely football decision to let go of a wide receiver unlike many other in the league.
More appalling than just cutting Jackson was Kelly’s failure to adequately replace him.
Jeremy Maclin left. He wasn’t traded. He wasn’t released. He left.
However, he shouldn’t have.
Maclin was the only reason the Jackson release was tolerable. He came back from injury, bet on himself and won. The Eagles lost Maclin to Andy Reid and the Chiefs fair and square, but when you’re left with Riley Cooper and a second-year receiver in Jordan Matthews, you better have an adequate replacement for a 1,000 yard receiver like Maclin.
Kelly didn’t. He wasn’t prepared and the message sent by losing Maclin was a bad one.
He did everything right as an Eagle and the team didn’t fight to keep him. What does that say for any other player that does everything the right way?