Eagles Wake-Up Call: Chip, Howie And Contracts

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

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.

Let’s get to today’s question:

Does Howie Roseman still have responsibility for the Eagles’ personnel budget? I don’t quite understand how Chip Kelly can be responsible for personnel without any involvement in contracts / budget since budget allocations are a reflection of any organization’s priorities. Whose responsibility is it to quantify the value of players relative to the rest of the NFL talent market? — Tony

I think you’ve hit on an important issue, Tony.

Right before this shake-up went down, Kelly was asked if he personally gets involved in the contract side of things.

“No,” he said. “For me to stand there and say paragraph five of his contract should mean this instead of that, that’s not my forte, not my strength…I understand it. But that’s really… [Roseman] does an outstanding job with that. One of the attractive parts about this job is there’s not cap issues. You don’t look at it and go, ‘Oh my God. We’re gonna have to cut 12 players because we’re gonna be $40 million over the cap.’ I think he does an outstanding job with that. That’s his strength.”

In his new role as executive vice president of football operations, Roseman is still in charge of directing contract negotiations and salary cap management, according to the Eagles. There’s power in that. While he may have been removed from the personnel side, Roseman maintains some control over how the roster is shaped because he holds the pen and is responsible for making sure the puzzle pieces fit from a financial perspective.

Kelly and Roseman’s worlds, then, will continue to overlap (collide?) quite a bit. Kelly and his new personnel executive will be in charge of identifying the players that they would like to keep/bring in, and it will be Roseman’s job to try and  fulfill their wish list while also keeping budget and roster balance in mind. It’s critical that they respect each other’s roles if this new structure is to work. Kelly has to trust Roseman’s expertise when it comes to resource allocation, and Roseman must reward that trust by working to bring Kelly’s vision to life.

Given what has transpired over the the last week or so, it’s fair to wonder whether such harmony is achievable/sustainable. This is an area worth monitoring as the Eagles push forward under this new power structure.


Trent Dilfer thinks Marcus Mariota will drop in the draft.

How will the trade aspect of the operation be handled now that Roseman is out of the personnel game? Sheil gives his take.  


Jimmy Kempski of the newly-launched Philly Voice doesn’t think the Eagles can realistically land Mariota.

The obvious college quarterback of interest to many Eagles fans in the 2015 draft is Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, Chip Kelly’s old protégé. We should note the disclaimer that opinions on quarterbacks change quite a bit during the pre-draft process. Quarterbacks like the Jets’ Geno Smith and the Vikings’ Teddy Bridgewater, for example, are often thought at times to be potential #1 overall picks, only to fall to the end of the first round, or out of the first round completely. But unfortunately for Eagles fans, if Mariota is indeed regarded by NFL talent evaluators as an elite QB prospect after he has been thoroughly scrutinized, the Birds will have almost no chance of landing him. The reason why is simple – There are a wealth of teams drafting ahead of them this year that need quarterbacks, and will have far better ammunition to move up and get one if that’s what they feel they need to do.

Andrew Kulp of the 700 Level looks at what he considers more realistic quarterback targets for the Eagles, including UCLA’s Brett Hundley.

Hundley did post tremendous numbers. The redshirt junior completed 67.4 percent of his passes while throwing 75 touchdowns to 25 interceptions in three seasons for the Bruins. 2014 was his best yet, with a 69.1 completion percentage and 22 scores to five picks. In addition to executing in the passing game, Hundley added 1,747 yards and 30 touchdowns on the ground.

He has a plenty of other things going for him as well. Hundley is listed at 6’3”, 226 pounds. He has a quality NFL arm. He’s said to have the work ethic necessary to succeed at the next level. Even some of the negatives in his scouting report, such as playing almost entirely in the shotgun formation, probably won’t hurt him in Kelly’s eyes.

What will probably scare teams off the most, and what is noted in Rang’s own scouting report, is Hundley’s lack of pocket presence, issues reading defenses and lack of anticipation as a passer. This sounds like Colin Kaepernick, and while the jury is still out on him, he looks increasingly like a project. Kaepernick, by the way, was an early second-round pick.


Some takeaways from Todd McShay’s conference call.