Kelly: We Never Offered Players To Titans
The godfather offer for Marcus Mariota?
It never happened, according to Chip Kelly.
“We didn’t offer any players to anybody,” he said Thursday night. “We didn’t get into any discussions. It was just a really steep price.”
An NFL Network report suggested otherwise – that Kelly was willing to throw in Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks, Brandon Boykin and Sam Bradford.
“Yeah, that’s false,” Kelly said. “As I said earlier, we never got into any conversations about players.”
In reality, there would have been no benefit for Kelly to admit that he was willing to part with several starters, considering those guys are still on the current roster. What he did admit was that the Eagles at least has interest and explored trading up with both the Titans and Bucs for Mariota.
On Wednesday, Kelly said, he first chatted with Tennessee. The two sides followed up Thursday, but were unable to get a deal done. In the end, the Titans seemed to have little or no interest in actually moving the pick.
Asked if he thought the Eagles were ever close to moving up, Kelly said: “No, not at all. …It didn’t get very far. The starting price for what it was wasn’t where we were gonna go, so the analogy I gave you, we drove up, it was a really nice house, we didn’t get out of the car, we didn’t walk into the house.”
But the Eagles wanted Mariota if the price was right?
“Yeah, that’s fair to say,” he said. “That would be fair to say to every team in the NFL, I think, except for Tampa Bay. If you asked anybody that question if the price is right, would they move up? Yeah. If the price is right, for one-one, yeah I would have switched picks in a second.”
Now the Eagles are left with Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley and Tim Tebow at the quarterback position.
Kelly said the team has talked to Bradford about a potential contract extension, although he was unwilling to elaborate further.
Last month at the owners meetings in Arizona, Kelly was adamant that moving up for Mariota would be nearly impossible. But in recent days, the speculation heated up, and despite what he said, it seems clear that the Eagles had more than a passing interest in making a big move to get up to the top of the draft.
“We had a conversation with both teams in the front, but it was way too steep for us to do anything so it didn’t really get very serious,” Kelly said.
“I think it played out exactly the way I thought it was gonna play out. I didn’t think it was gonna happen. It didn’t happen. Little Nostradamus out of me.”