Eagles Wake-Up Call: The Trade Impact

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

As explained here, we’re going to try something new for the Wake-Up Call in the offseason. Each day, we will choose a reader question and make that the topic of the morning post. You can submit your questions in a variety of ways: in the comments section, on Twitter (@Tim_McManus and @SheilKapadia), via e-mail (tmcmanus@phillymag.com and skapadia@phillymag.com) or on Facebook. We’ll choose one each day and answer it.

We’ll go through the questions once a month and randomly select a reader for a free Birds 24/7 t-shirt.

Today’s question (actually two on the same topic):

I know you can’t really answer this without being purely speculative, but I was wondering about the new Chip structure (this ‘era’ needs a catchy name, by the way) and how it might impact trading. From my completely unsubstantiated view, it seemed Howie was one of the more active GMs when it came to trades (picks and players), especially later in the draft.

Do you think it helps or hinders the trade market having someone like Chip who is pretty new to the league? – Jason

Given the new front office structure and the fact that the Eagles’ organization traditionally does a lot of wheeling and dealing with trades in the offseason and especially on draft day, how does that work now? Howie or Chip’s domain since it involves players and “nfl strategy”? – Mike

Good questions, fellas.

First of all, making trades was a source of pride for Howie Roseman. There’s this anecdote that appeared in an Inquirer article where Roseman, as a college student, told friends he couldn’t understand why NFL teams didn’t make more trades. And he promised that when he became a GM, he would wheel and deal.

To his credit, Roseman did trade quite a bit. Just look at the roster. They traded up to get Fletcher Cox. They traded down to get Marcus Smith II. They traded to get Darren Sproles and DeMeco Ryans. The team has done quite a bit of maneuvering in recent years.

But from what I understand, that responsibility is no longer in Roseman’s domain. So who will handle it? Either Chip Kelly or the new front-office right-hand man who has yet to be named.

In many instances over the past two years, it’s seemed that Kelly and Roseman have had a “make it happen” relationship. In other words, they weren’t really working together. Kelly would tell Roseman who he wanted (Malcolm Jenkins, Riley Cooper, Sproles) or who he didn’t want (DeSean Jackson), and Roseman would work on making it happen, whether that meant calling GMs, agents, whomever.

Kelly getting on the phone with other teams and discussing trade offers doesn’t seem like the best idea. For one, he has no experience doing that. But also, it takes him away from other responsibilities – refining his scheme, keeping an eye on the locker room, managing his staff, etc.

So the guess here is that wheeling and dealing will fall under the umbrella of the new guy. He’ll be Kelly’s “make it happen” partner, which is another reason why the hire is so important. The personnel executive needs to have good relationships with decision-makers on other teams. He needs to understand how the league works and how deals are negotiated. And he needs to have Kelly’s ear. Roseman had many of those qualifications – except for the last one.

The guess here is we’ll probably see fewer trades than in the past, but that will depend on how aggressive Kelly wants to be and what the new guy brings to the operation.


Todd Lyght is leaving the Eagles’ coaching staff for Vanderbilt.

Evan Mathis has been named to the Pro Bowl.

Our tracker has the latest on Kelly’s search for a personnel exec.


Jeff McLane of the Inquirer on the search:

But as the man in charge on so many other fronts, Kelly also has other pressing matters such as ongoing contract negotiations with wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, finding replacements as his coaching staff turns over, and making offseason evaluations.

It’s unclear who is assisting Kelly in the search to fill the personnel executive vacancy. The Eagles dismissed vice president of player personnel and Kelly ally Tom Gamble, who would have been a likely candidate, last week.

Kelly does have coaching acquaintances around the NFL such as Bill Belichick and Bill O’Brien who could offer advice. Eagles chief of staff James Harris, who followed Kelly from Oregon, is believed to be aiding the coach.

Andrew Brandt of The MMQB offers his take on the Eagles’ new front office structure:

Roseman, to his credit, made many solid personnel moves in the drat (Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks, Jordan Matthews) and free agency/trades (Connor Barwin, Darren Sproles, Malcolm Jenkins). Thus, the change appears to be less about results than it is about a personal dynamic with Kelly.

Perhaps Roseman and Kelly will stay with the Eagles for a long time, but Lurie’s worry should be that whatever communication they had—or didn’t have—will now become more guarded and filtered as it goes through another channel. The hope for the Eagles’ organizational structure is that two silos of the building avoid developing the kind of relationship that leads to internal dysfunction.

Stay tuned.


Never a dull moment with this team. We’ll get you something.