Chip: ‘I Want To Apologize’ To LeSean McCoy
The back-and-forth drama between Chip Kelly and LeSean McCoy, dormant for months since McCoy’s last comments about the trade that sent him from Philadelphia to Buffalo, was rekindled this week.
On Wednesday, McCoy told Philadelphia reporters in a conference call that he didn’t want to shake Chip Kelly’s hand before the Eagles face the Bills on Sunday.
Before Thursday’s practice, Kelly was asked about McCoy’s comments. Kelly launched into a two-minute spiel on what he believed went wrong with the trade this past spring, and why he understands McCoy’s point of view.
Below are Kelly’s comments, when asked about McCoy’s saying he didn’t want to shake hands.
“That’s his choice, and I understand that. How he was traded wasn’t handled right, and I’ve said that before. I did not get an opportunity to talk to him, and it’s a lesson that we should never do, to be honest with you.
“We were told that the trade wasn’t initiated, and it wouldn’t be initiated until the next morning, so there were no phone calls to be made. And then all of a sudden, I’m driving to an event, and he’s been traded. I felt bad that I didn’t get a chance to talk to him. I called him, he didn’t answer my phone call. I know he was pissed, and he should be pissed. Rightly so.
“Every player that has ever left this team, I’ve talked to them, personally, myself. Every one that’s in town, we talk to them individually, here in our office. I talk to them, the coordinator talks to them, the position coach talks to them. We have a way that we do it, that I think is the right way to do it, and it wasn’t exercised in that case. I understand why … he was the all-time running back here, he felt like he was disrespected, and it was wrong. And because I was part of it, it’s on me.
“When we traded for Sam [Bradford] and for Nick [Foles], with Jeff Fisher, it was a great situation. Jeff texted me, we were both on the phone together and said, ‘Alright, when are you going to make the call? Let’s call now. When we’re done with our phone calls with our players, text each other.’ He texted me that he was done, I texted him that I was done. I then called Sam, he then called Nick. That’s the way it should’ve been done.
“It wasn’t handled that way with LeSean, and I understand why he’s not happy, and he should not be happy about it, and that’s why I want to apologize for that. Because it didn’t happen the right way.
“But from our standpoint, we thought the trade wasn’t going to be initiated until the next morning, so there was no phone call to be made until the league approves the trade.
“I understand where he’s coming from; if he doesn’t want to shake my hand, I understand that. But I will always shake his hand. If he extends his hand to me, I will always shake his hand. I have great respect for him as a player. Everything we asked him to do here, he did. He was an outstanding football player for two years.
“The only reason he wasn’t here was that the money was too high. He’s still a really good football player in this league. I don’t know if I can say anything else besides that. I do have great respect for LeSean. I think he’s a heck of a football player, and we’re going to have our hands full when we play him this week.”
Earlier in Kelly’s press conference, he talked about how he views the trade that sent McCoy to Buffalo in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso.
“I think we did the right thing at the time,” Kelly said. “We traded an outstanding running back for a linebacker. But we also traded $700,000 for $11.9 million.
“I think with all of those situations, there’s money involved. One of the things we had was, we had a lot of players who were older and at the ends of their contracts that were making big money.”
Injury report: Logan returns to practice
Bennie Logan was back at practice after missing Wednesday’s session.
Bennie Logan practicing, so everyone going today. #Eagles
— Martin Frank (@Mfranknfl) December 10, 2015