While the NFL focused its interest on the retirement of Peyton Manning on Monday, the Philadelphia Eagles quietly blew up the Chip Kelly experiment with a string of transactions. The now San Francisco 49ers coach was fired late last year, and many of the players he brought in are now on their way out.
The Eagles agreed to a trade with the Dolphins that will send cornerback Bryon Maxwell and linebacker Kiko Alonso to Miami. Maxwell signed a gigantic six-year, $63 million dollar contract before the 2014 season, but had a disappointing year with 64 tackles and 2 interceptions in 14 games.
Alonso was shipped to the Eagles early last season in a blockbuster deal with the Buffalo Bills for running back LeSean McCoy. But the former 2nd round pick struggled in the 11 games he played last season for the Eagles, compiling 43 tackles and 1 interception.
Both defensive players were supposed to be key contributors to Kelly’s defense, but consistently disappointed. Philadelphia has not hidden its desire to move on from the Kelly debacle, and will officially send Maxwell and Alonso to the Dolphins when the new league year begins on Wednesday.
The moves didn’t stop there for the Eagles though, as they reached an agreement to send prized running back DeMarco Murray to the Tennessee Titans. The NFL’s leading rusher in 2014 struggled mightily in Chip Kelly’s system last year, and was traded in exchange for unspecified draft compensation.
Murray should be a solid fit for the Titans by making their offense more dynamic. With quarterback Marcus Mariota’s growth being the No. 1 priority in Tennessee, having a good blocker in pass protection and talented runner in Murray should do wonders for Mariota’s development.
Ultimately, Philadelphia’s various moves are a conscious effort to rid them of the horrendous Chip Kelly era. With plenty of time to continue shifting the roster, the Eagles’ overhaul might just be getting started.