Thanks to Howie Roseman, almost all the damage done by Chip Kelly last season has been shipped off to other teams. It’s time to give credit where it’s due.
Byron Maxwell. Kiko Alonso. DeMarco Murray.
If you believed what Chip Kelly was selling last year when he won control of the Philadelphia Eagles, then you were certain that these were the players who were going to take the team from good to great. These were the three pieces to the puzzle that had been missing and former GM Howie Roseman was either too inexperienced or too clueless to see it.
Sure, the contracts he gave them were just short of ridiculous and gave no thought to any long-term ramifications due to the salary cap, but the Birds were going to win a Super Bowl! How can you put a price on that?
Then the season started and we saw exactly what Kelly had paid all that money for.
Maxwell looked slow, ineffective and did nothing to give any wide receiver pause. Alonso seemed confused and other than a spectacular interception in the season opener against Atlanta, did nothing remarkable at all. Murray, who was supposed to be the north/south running back the Eagles needed, lost the starting job and spent much of the rest of the season trying to convince Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie to give it back to him.
Instead of going from good to great, the Eagles went from good to terrible and finished the 2015 season with a record of 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the second straight year. Kelly was fired before the last game of the season and Roseman returned to power as the GM in all but title.
Once it became clear Roseman was once again running the show, he was derided in the media mercilessly, especially on sports talk radio. The fans didn’t understand what Lurie was thinking by giving control of the team back to Roseman. He isn’t a “football guy” they said and no one thought that had changed in his one season exiled to the other end of the NovaCare Complex.
Now? Everyone is singing a different tune.
Roseman somehow managed to convince the Miami Dolphins that they couldn’t be competitive in 2016 unless they took both Maxwell and Alonso off his hands. In return we only managed to move up from the No. 13 overall pick in the NFL Draft to No. 8, jumping into the top 10 and clearing $5 million in cap space.
Then he sent Murray and his petulant attitude to the Tennessee Titans and moved the Birds up 13 spots in the fourth round, from No. 110 to No. 97, as well as saving the team $9 million.
Roseman may not be a “football guy”, but when he can pull of moves like this, who cares?
In the span of just a week, Roseman managed to undo almost all the damage Kelly did. He got rid of a trio of overpaid, overhyped players that couldn’t care less about the uniform they wear as long as they get a paycheck and put the Eagles in a much better position to be successful.
Yes, he still has a lot to prove, especially when it comes to the draft and picking the right talent to improve the team. But overall, Howie Roseman has dome a lot of good things to give the Eagles a chance to actually be competitive this upcoming season.
Now it’s time to give Roseman the credit he deserves.