Eagles Wake-Up Call: Chip’s Free Agent Philosophy

NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots

Over the weekend, an amazing note about how the Green Bay Packers are currently built surfaced on Twitter:

Given what NFL news has made headlines over the last week, that is hard to believe. But the Packers have a defined belief in how they want to run their organization. While other teams make news in March, they sit back and observe.

There’s no blueprint for how to build a winning team. A lot of winning teams use free agency effectively. The Patriots, for example, just won the Super Bowl, and they had several guys who weren’t original draft picks like Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner.

But personnel men around the league seem to agree that the best way for sustained success is through the draft.

Given what we’ve seen out of Chip Kelly in the past couple weeks, though, is that his philosophy too?

“We want to keep our picks,” Kelly said last week. “We want to get a lot more good players in here. We want to develop those players. And eventually we’re hopefully not gonna be big guys in free agency. We want to develop ’em from the bottom up and have our players on this thing so we’re not going out there in free agency and having to bring six, seven, eight, nine guys in here. That’s philosophically how we’re gonna approach things.”

For observers who looked at last week’s spending with a critical eye, Kelly’s words are encouraging. Depending on your view, the sentiment could be seen as a jab at Howie Roseman as well. Kelly’s explanation was that the Eagles didn’t have enough good players on the roster, so when he got full control of personnel, he decided an overhaul was necessary.

Of course, depending on some of the decisions the Eagles make, they might not be in position to spend as freely next offseason. Per Over The Cap, they are about $7.5 million under the cap currently. Only five teams have less cap room. Because teams are allowed to roll over cap space to future years, that’s significant.

Every organization wants to build through the draft and hold on to its own players, but not all organizations are patient and disciplined to follow through with that approach. We’ll find out in the coming years which category Kelly’s Eagles fall under.


NFC East roundup: Gauging reaction in Dallas after DeMarco Murray switched allegiances.

Were the Browns the team that offered a first-round pick for Sam Bradford?

“He’s become a little gun-shy.” Greg Cosell offers his take on Bradford.

Weekend reading: “That’s what [Marcus] Mariota is and what Sam Bradford has.”

Five thoughts on the Murray signing.

Nick Foles talks emotions after the trade.

“This could lead to Bradford having a career rejuvenation.” What they’re saying.

Kelly might not be done dealing. He says everyone’s been discussed as a trade chip.

T-Mac explains how the Eagles landed Murray.


ESPN’s Josina Anderson passes along some buzz from West Virginia’s Pro Day: 

Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz offers some thoughts on Sam Bradford:

The number one thing that jumps out at me is pocket presence. Bradford stays locked in on his receivers, even when rushers get near him. One of Nick Foles issues was dealing with pressure. He would do that well at times, but other times drifted backward, which led to problems. Bradford’s instinct is to move up in the pocket. You can tell he’s been well-coached and he listened.

The other thing that stood out to me…Chip Kelly must be one phenomenal play-caller. We’re used to seeing Eagles players wide open at least a few times a game. Guys are covered for this entire video. Even play-action passes aren’t freeing anyone up.


It’s been a relatively quiet three days for the Eagles. Why do I get a feeling that’s not going to last?