Home > Uncategorized > Eagles trading DeMarco Murray to Titans, continuing to erase Chip Kelly’s fingerprints

Eagles trading DeMarco Murray to Titans, continuing to erase Chip Kelly’s fingerprints

The Philadelphia Eagles washed their hands of head coach Chip Kelly in December. On Wednesday, they spent time trying to clean out the marquee acquisitions from their ballyhooed 2015 offseason.

In one case, it appears they have succeeded:

Murray was the offensive crown jewel for Kelly in his first and only season as the Eagles’ head of football operations. The Eagles made a handful of headline-grabbing moves last spring (more on those in a bit), but signing Murray, a player from a rival franchise who had just gained more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage, was the biggest splash. With a backfield consisting of Murray, fellow 2015 signee Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles, Philadelphia had put together a fearsome ground group. A Dream Team 2 of sorts. However, when the games began, there was one problem:

Murray repeatedly played badly. Really badly.

You can blame it on Kelly’s scheme, the Eagles’ offensive line regression or Murray for just being worn down after taking 497 touches in 2014. Regardless, after two weeks, DeMarco had 21 carries and 11 rushing yards. His yards-per-carry average fell off by more than a full yard from the previous season. Mere months after signing a five-year, $42 million contract, there were games in which Murray was Philly’s third-string back. It was a nightmare marriage.

Now, Murray is most likely moving on (either team can renege on the deal before the start of the NFL’s league year on Wednesday). And while I would usually look at this type of blockbuster development through a fantasy lens — Tennessee employs more of a power running scheme, but don’t get your hopes up for a Murray renaissance; the Titans’ offensive line is a wreck right now — that’s not the angle I find most interesting.

Look at whom Kelly added to his roster last March. Notably:

He signed Mark Sanchez to a two-year deal. He may receive his pink slip soon.

Cornerback Byron Maxwell was given a huge six-year, $63 million deal with $25 million guaranteed. It appears that he will be shipped to the Dolphins as long as he restructures his contract.

Linebacker Kiko Alonso was acquired from Buffalo for the face of the franchise, LeSean McCoy. He will reportedly be joining Maxwell in Miami.

Murray is on his way out. And Ryan Mathews could be close behind.

In the end, every new player whom the Eagles inked to a multi-year contract last spring, under Kelly’s orders, could find themselves in a new jersey one season later.

Obviously, the 2015 Eagles were a huge bust, and none of those players above other than perhaps Mathews came close to meeting expectations. Getting rid of them and saving significant dollars in the process is wise. 

These decisions also serve as a strong rebuke of Kelly’s ability to build a roster through the open market. He was ultimately fired due to his team’s poor performance on the field. But the Eagles’ brass clearly believes that Kelly failed the organization extensively well before opening day.

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