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Chip Kelly Doesn't Know What He Doesn't Know
I never thought I would ever find a coach I hated more than Andy Reid, but current Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has me second guessing myself.
Kelly is not quite as arrogant as Reid, but it's close. And with his flurry of moves in the last few days, I have to admit that Kelly might actually be the worst judge of talent ever to run an NFL franchise. Many have questioned several of his moves, but even the most blindly loyal Eagles fans have to be thinking that Kelly has lost his mind. Or maybe he never had much of a mind to begin with.
News broke today that Kelly traded quarterback Nick Foles. That isn't the surprise though. The surprise is what Kelly got in return. That would be injury-prone quarterback Sam Bradford. And to make matters even worse, there were draft picks involved in the deal.
But how could it be worse, if the Eagles got draft picks in the deal, you ask? Surely the Eagles would have only made such a trade if the St. Louis Rams agreed to swap picks in the first round of the upcoming NFL draft, right? The Eagles would get the No. 10 pick and Bradford for Foles and the No. 20 pick, right? Uh, no.
That still would have been a bad deal, but at least that would have given us an idea of what Kelly was doing. In that scenario, the Eagles would have used that higher pick as part of a package to trade up to take Kelly's former Oregon Duck QB, Marcus Mariota. I would have hated that plan, but at least it would have been a plan. As far as I can tell, Kelly has no plan....or apparently a clue.
No, the Eagles got Bradford and the Rams' 5th round pick in 2015 in exchange for Foles, their 4th round pick in 2015 and their 2nd round pick in 2016. If Bradford doesn't play at all in 2015, the Eagles would also get the Rams 3rd round pick in 2016. If he plays less than 50% of the snaps, the Eagles get the Rams' 4th round pick in 2016. So apparently, even Kelly and the Eagles aren't so sure Bradford is healthy.
Yeah, I have no idea what Chipper is thinking either. This is possible the dumbest trade ever. Quick, name a worse trade in any sport. Didn't think so.
Even those who don't think Foles is a franchise QB, like I do, have to admit that he showed flashes of greatness in 2013, when he posted the third highest QB rating in NFL history with 27 TDs and only 2 INTs. Sure he had a down 2014, but his offensive line was in shambles and Kelly got pass-happy for no reason
I tried to find the video of Sam Bradford throwing 7 TDs in a game, but this is all I could find.
Bradford, 27, was the No. 1 overall pick of the 2010 draft. He won Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2010, while setting rookie records in pass attempts (590) and completions (354) and ranked second all-time among rookies with 3,512 yards passing. Unfortunately it was all downhill after that. He has only played all 16 games twice in his career and even got hurt in college at Oklahoma. He suffered an ACL injury in his left knee in Week 7 of the 2013 season and tore the same ACL again last preseason. That means he hasn't played in a year and half. So much for Kelly needing a mobile QB to run his offense. And for this, Kelly trades a good young quarterback and draft picks? I just don't get it.
Even more perplexing is the fact that Bradford is owed $12.9 million in the last year of his rookie deal, while Foles was only due to earn $1.342 million. So much for all that cap space the Eagles had to dominate the free agent market.
Speaking of the free agent market, it's important to look at the full picture of what Kelly has done this offseason, since he won a power struggle with former GM Howie Roseman and was given total control of player personnel by idiot owner Jeffrey Lurie. I can't be the only one who remembers that Lurie said he made a mistake by giving Reid total control and would never do that again, right? It took Lurie all of two years to turn over the keys to the franchise and it looks like Kelly has totaled it on his first trip around the block.
Kelly cut guard Todd Herremans, OLB Trent Cole and CB Cary Williams. No huge surprises there. Unfortunately, everything else Kelly has done is a huge surprise and, in my opinion, totally inexcusable.
You may have heard that Kelly traded stud running back LeSean McCoy straight up for a linebacker coming off an ACL injury. Hey, maybe those smoothies he gives out have magical healing powers. Or not. Even if Kiko Alonso can recover from his second ACL and be a good player again, the Eagles are left with only Darren Sproles and Chris Polk at RB. Neither is a guy who can carry the load. Kelly decided to re-sign OLB Brandon Graham, even though everyone agreed that Graham was a better fit as a DE in a 4-3 defense instead of as an OLB in the Eagles 3-4. Hell, even graham said that himself. Then Kelly looked like an idiot when the Eagles reportedly agreed to a deal with RB Frank Gore, only to have Gore back out on the deal and instead sign with Indianapolis for basically the same money.
The reason Gore changed his mind is because of two other terrible moves that Kelly made.
What is Chip Kelly Doing?
First, Kelly re-signed QB Mark Sanchez. No, that's not a cruel joke on Eagles fans. Hey if you're looking for a QB who can't throw the ball beyond 20 yards and is a turnover machine, then "The Sanchize" is your guy. Then Kelly somehow let Jeremy Maclin sign as a free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs. Yes, apparently there is no end to how bad Fat Andy can screw Eagles fans. This was after Maclin said he wanted to stay and the Eagles declined to put the franchise tag on him, so he couldn't leave as a free agent. Maclin ended up signing with the Chiefs for $11 per year and the best the Eagles would offer was $10 million a year. Hey, when did Joe Banner get his job back as head bean counter of the Eagles? That is just inexcusable for a team with plenty of space under the salary cap.
That leaves the Eagles with a receiving corps. of Riley Cooper, Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff. Almost makes you pine for the days of Todd Pinkston and James Thrash, doesn't it? Honestly, I don't blame Gore for deciding not to come here with the lack of weapons on this offense.
Kelly is an arrogant jerk, who thinks his precious system can overcome a lack of talent. It doesn't. Hey Chipper, that crap works in college, but not so much in the pros.
The worst part of all of this is that when it all implodes, Kelly will just scurry back to the college ranks and leave a dumpster fire where the Eagles roster used to be. I now peg that happening by 2017. Personally, I'm hoping it's sooner, because the last few days have shown us that Chip Kelly has absolutely no idea how to build a roster in the NFL.
Even the most vocal of Kelly supporters can't find a plausible explanation for this Bradford trade. That's because there isn't one. It is possibly the worst trade ever.
Instead of simply reshaping a defense that prevented the Eagles from making the playoffs last season, Kelly decided to blow it all up and start over. The Eagles would have been the favorites to win the NFC East with a few additions on defense and the offense returning intact. Instead, Kelly decided to try to show everyone that he is the smartest man in the room. Unfortunately, Chip isn't even bright enough to know what he doesn't know.