Clearing Up the Reid-Barkley-Eagles Controversy

When the Eagles moved up in the fourth round to take Matt Barkley with the No. 98 pick, some wondered whether they were trying to jump ahead of Andy Reid and the Chiefs.

The Eagles originally had the 101st pick, while Kansas City had No. 99.

Reid was asked about the Chiefs potentially targeting Barkley and seemed to take a little jab at his former team.

“Well, we weren’t going there,” Reid told WHB-Radio in Kansas City, according to Sports Radio Interviews. “I actually was on the phone with Nick Saban from Alabama before that day ever started, so that’s just not the direction [we were going]. We had pinpointed Nico [Johnson] and that’s who we were going after.

“I know how rumors start and how people justify picks and all this other stuff, but I think if you look at our roster, we’ve got Akeem Jordan at middle linebacker; that’s the only player that we have there. So we needed a middle linebacker, we had a good one sitting right there and it fell that way and we were tickled pink to go get Nico and bring him on board. That rumor started and I heard it, and I had to laugh at it. That wasn’t even in the picture.”

While we love a good controversy here at Birds 24/7, unfortunately, we have to report that there’s not much to this one.

“No, not necessarily Kansas City,” said GM Howie Roseman, when asked if the Eagles were trying to jump ahead of the Chiefs. “Not necessarily Oakland. We just felt like this player was so far and away the best player on our board for the value that the trade was, it would have been silly that we lost him. It wasn’t because of any other team that we knew was going to take him or not.”

But did he know Reid liked Barkley?

“No, this wasn’t about Coach Reid, and us trying to do Coach Reid. …I had been to SC, the last six or seven years. I had obviously had conversations with Matt and knew that coach had a lot of respect for him as a player and a person. But we thought that it would be silly to lose the player over a seventh-round pick.”

Chip Kelly also explained that the Eagles were more worried about other teams moving up for Barkley than about the Jaguars, Chiefs or Raiders taking him.

The initial rumor can probably be traced back to Barkley himself. During his conference call with Philadelphia reporters, the QB said the Chiefs were “definitely looking to trade up” for him. But looking at the board, that doesn’t seem to make much sense. If the Chiefs wanted to move up, all they would have had give up was a seventh-round pick. Instead, they chose to stay put.

So again, this falls under the “much ado about nothing” category.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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