Free agency has been interesting for Philadelphia the past few seasons, with an internal struggle for control over personnel decisions between Howie Roseman and Chip Kelly. Hired on as a head coach in 2013, Kelly kept most of what Andy Reid put together during his tenure with the team from 1999 to 2012.
Kelly earned more trust and power following his first season with the Eagles, where they finished 10-6 and lost in the Wild Card round of the postseason. He won with Michael Vick under center, DeSean Jackson at wideout and LeSean McCoy in the backfield. This was the last team that embodied the "Brotherly Love" moniker Philadelphia is known for -- Kelly got rid of both Vick and Jackson ahead of the 2014 season.
The organization and fans held on in year two, when Kelly once again led a 10-6 team, but fell short of the playoffs and a division title. As the pressure mounted -- and rumors of thinning support from the front office -- Kelly decided to make sweeping changes to the roster and try once more with the team he thought could win.
A big roster shakeup in 2015
Kelly started last year's free agency with a move that shook the core of the Eagles organization, announcing a trade with Buffalo: LeSean McCoy for Kiko Alonso. As if getting rid of the team's offensive star wasn't enough, Kelly also failed to re-sign wideout Jeremy Maclin, who ended up following Reid to Kansas City, and swapped quarterbacks with the Rams, trading Nick Foles for Sam Bradford.
In order to shore up some of the roster vacancies, Kelly signed running backs DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews, who were supposed to be the dynamic duo in the backfield. They weren't. Murray rushed for 702 yards six touchdowns -- down from 1,845 yards in 2014 with the Cowboys -- and Mathews rushed for a similar 539 yards and six touchdowns.
Kelly also tried to add depth to the secondary with two of Seattle's corners. Byron Maxwell and Walter Thurmond III were brought in to replace Cary Williams, Brandon Boykin and Nate Allen. Maxwell was a rather expensive disappointment, costing the team over $8 million for a season in which the cornerback only recorded 10 passes defended and two interceptions.
In: Kiko Alonso, Sam Bradford, Ryan Mathews, Byron Maxwell, DeMarco Murray, Walter Thurmond III
Out: Nate Allen, Brandon Boykin, James Casey, Trent Cole, Bradley Fletcher, Todd Herremans, Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy, Brad Smith, Cary Williams
Undoing Kelly's moves in 2016
After Kelly was fired, the team hired first-time head coach Doug Pederson and the personnel decisions went back in the hands of EVP Howie Roseman. Kelly and Roseman often battled over personnel decisions, and now Roseman is working to take back the power with whiplash force.
So far in 2016, Roseman has re-signed several of the team's franchise players -- guys Roseman helped draft or bring to Philadelphia -- including Brent Celek, Zach Ertz, Lane Johnson, Brandon Graham and Malcolm Jenkins. These moves were lauded by Eagles fans, who were sick of seeing their favorite players head to new cities after the 2015 fire sale.
Just ahead of the franchise tag deadline, the Eagles were also able to make a deal with Sam Bradford to keep him in Philadelphia for two more seasons -- and he could end up as the only product of the Kelly era to make it into the Pederson regime. Bradford earned support from the locker room in the latter half of the 2015 season, and is someone Pederson wanted to at the very least fill the role while they train a to-be-drafted rookie quarterback.
The new league year hadn't even begun before reports flew about Maxwell and Alonso being traded to Miami, and that both highly touted running backs Murray and Mathews were on the trading block, too. Murray didn't make it 24 hours before he was traded to Tennessee. Meanwhile, a Mathews trade is still on the table and the Eagles are unlikely to bring back Thurmond, who's set to hit free agency.
There was no attempt at keeping trade talks under wraps, and looked a lot like someone fiercely getting rid of all their ex's stuff after a bitter breakup.
Out (for now): Kiko Alonso, DeMarco Murray, Byron Maxwell, DeMeco Ryans
After the trades become official on Wednesday, the Eagles will have gained $10 million in cap space and received draft pick compensation. And with Kelly now the head coach of the 49ers, his old team is trying to close the book on his chapter in Philadelphia.
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