Chip Kelly is certainly keeping things interesting with the Eagles. In a time when the Sixers are following “the process” leading them to the number one pick in the draft, the Flyers are throwing away whatever slim chance they had for a playoff spot as they too prepare for a rebuild, the Phillies are embarking on rebuilding season that at best, leaves them three years from contention, the Eagles are making headlines seemingly every other minute.
The release of the two longest tenured team members, Todd Herremans and Trent Cole, along with starting corner Cary Williams, plus the free agent departure of top receiver Jeremy Maclin and the expected departure of defensive backs Bradley Fletcher and Nate Allen were just the prelude to the two most shocking moves. The trade of Eagles all-time leading rusher LeSean McCoy to Buffalo and quarterback Nick Foles to St. Louis. That leaves the Eagles with four new starters on both offense and defense minimum (more if linebacker Kiko Alonso replaces Demeco Ryans as expected), all from a team that won 10 games each of the last two years.
All the moves can be justified, some replacing aging talent (Cole, Herremans), some as salary cap savings (McCoy, Williams) where the price tag doesn’t justify the return, with the exception of the quarterback swap, Nick Foles for Sam Bradford.
Kelly must really think Bradford is that much better than Foles, or will be with his coaching. Bradford is making almost 20 time the salary of Foles, has missed 31 of a potential 80 games due to injury, and has not won anywhere near the percentage of the games he’s started when compared with Foles. To call Bradford a complete bust as the number one pick in the draft s a little harsh, his stats are decent for such a bad team, when he did play, but I still don't see it. Is his arm that much stronger? Is he that much more accurate (his completion percentage is lower than Foles’) or has that much quicker a release? Maybe that rumored swap of first picks is still in the mix somehow, pending some future transaction, and Kelly is trying to keep people from finding out what he's up to?
If not, it’s quite a gamble, Kelly has paid a huge price, both in dollars and talent, in the hopes that Bradford will stay healthy and that Kelly will be able to bring to the fore the promise that made Bradford the number one pick in the draft.