The Philadelphia Eagles had an active offseason to say the least. There was a point in time where the football watching world though head coach Chip Kelly had gone absolutely insane, beginning with sending franchise running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso.
After that transaction, crazy stuff was coming out of Philly left and right. Next up was the most shocking trade: quarterback Nick Foles, a fourth-round draft pick, and a future second-round pick bought the Eagles perpetually-injured Sam Bradford and a fifth-round selection. Well Foles slipped a little bit in 2014 before his injury, Bradford didn’t have a 2014 at all. He only played seven games in 2013 as well. Oh, and his contract calls for a nearly $13 million cap hit in 2015.
Moving on. Things got much better for Kelly and the Eagles as free agency progressed. The Eagles signed Seattle Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell, San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Matthews, and Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray, addressing two big needs the team had from 2014.
With LeSean McCoy gone, Murray was the best possible replacement. Kelly was also able to add some depth by bringing in Matthews. And then of course Maxwell is an immediate improvement to the secondary, and defensive help is something the Eagles need a lot of this season, especially at corner.
The 2015 NFL Draft was just as odd in Philly. Kelly spent most of the time building up to the draft trying to trade for Oregon quarterback and 2014 Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota who he coached back in his days with the Ducks. It was amazing what this man was willing to offer for a quarterback who could very well fizzle out after a year or two in the pros. Two first-round picks and a couple of defensive starters? That’s absolutely ridiculous.
Well, after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers called on Jameis Winston, the Tennessee Titans were on the clock at No. 2 overall. They ended up passing on the Eagles offer, which just means that they will look even more foolish than Kelly if Mariota doesn’t work out.
With the trade falling through, Kelly and team ended up using their 20th overall pick to draft wide receiver Nelson Agholor out of USC. This selection really doesn’t make sense for Chip’s high-powered, fast-pace offense. Agholor isn’t the most athletic receiver in the draft, and he could very likely have trouble adjusting; but he is a well-rounded receiver who Kelly will find a use for somewhere. Still can’t help but feel that Kelly could have done better by scouting a little more outside of the Pac-12.
Eric Rowe was a much better pick by the Eagles. The team traded their two fifth-rounders to move up to 47th overall and grab the safety out of Utah. Rowe is a versatile player who can play both cornerback and safety. Whatever the team decides to do with him, Rowe can definitely help out a bad secondary in Philadelphia.
Chip Kelly’s addition of quarterback Tim Tebow right before the draft should also be mentioned. Tebow has been out of the league for a couple of years now, so what exactly the plan for him is remains unclear. Maybe Kelly wants to be known as the man who saved and revitalized Tebow’s football career?
Overall, the Eagles offseason can best be described as odd. Kelly drove a bunch of the team’s star players out the door, but he did bring in other big names to replace them. The offensive mastermind is entering his 3rd season in the NFL, and after finishing 10-6 in his first two years, expectations are high. After all the questionable moves this offseason, another playoff miss could mean Kelly’s job.