Although today is officially the Fourth of July, the Philadelphia Eagles and head coach Chip Kelly have been setting off fireworks throughout the entire offseason. Once Kelly received full control of all personnel decisions, he made a flurry of moves that included quite a few that shocked the NFL. Kelly has never been one to go along with what others are doing, he prefers to set a trend instead of following one.
Kelly’s moves as the Eagles acting general manager were certainly controversial. He traded the Eagles superstar running back LeSean McCoy for one of his former players at Oregon, inside linebacker Kiko Alonso (OMG! GO BACK TO COLLEGE!). That move was highly criticized by many around the league, including McCoy himself, who called out Kelly for how the whole situation played out and whatnot. McCoy even claimed Kelly was a racist, which was obviously a ridiculous, immature move by the former Eagles running back.
It’s funny that McCoy and former Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson are still upset with how their situations in Philadelphia were handled. They’re just further proving why Kelly decided to get them out of his locker room and replace them with players that won’t clash with his philosophies both on and off the field.
Less then a week after shipping McCoy out of town, Kelly traded disappointing quarterback Nick Foles to the St. Louis Rams for quarterback Sam Bradford. At the time, it was another head scratching move that shocked the world. Foles certainly had an underwhelming season in 2014 but at least he could stay on the field, Bradford was always hurt. Yet Bradford has franchise quarterback potential when he’s on the field and that’s what Kelly is banking on by bringing him to Philadelphia.
Considering the Eagles have been the healthiest team in the NFL since Kelly has become the head coach in Philadelphia, it’s easy to see why he’s been so eager to take risk on injury prone players. That takes us to Kelly’s next string on controversial moves and that was signing a couple more injury prone players including running backs DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews, as well as wide receiver Miles Austin. Each has played at a Pro Bowl level at some point in their career, of course Murray had a dominant season in 2014, but they’ve all had their fair share of injury troubles as well. Clearly Kelly is a strong believer in his sports science methods and the team’s medical staff.
One final move Kelly made was considered a “crazy” move at the time, but it was a necessary risk to take. Kelly signed former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell to a 6-year, $63 million contract despite him never technically being the Seahawks’ top cornerback. That being said, Maxwell is a perfect fit for the Eagles’ scheme and checks all of their boxes from a physical standpoint as well. It may seem like the Eagles overpaid but considering their secondary play in recent seasons, it was a necessary risk for Kelly to take.
All in all, Kelly has made many controversial moves since taking the reigns in Philadelphia. Only time will tell whether they were the right ones to make or not though. Yet for now all we can do is enjoy the fireworks during the Fourth of July…as well as during the Eagles’ offseason as well.
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