By Peter Gleason
There are those in the lame-ass media who insist that many if not most of Eagle Supreme Leader Chip Kelly’s personnel moves in the offseason were about “culture” and not money.
How else to explain getting rid of malcontents like Shady McCoy and Evan Mathis, both of whom were productive players in 2014?
So yesterday Kelly set the record straight, saying that the vast majority of the team’s decisions were about managing the salary cap, getting rid of players whose contracts made them tough to keep, even if they were productive on the field.
“Almost all the maneuvers we made with people going out were because of contracts,” Kelly said, via CSNPhilly.com.
“People making too much money in our opinion of what the evaluation for what the pay for play is. Every guy we released, we offered in a trade to everybody in the league, and no one took the trade. Why? Because the contract is too high. [They] all sign somewhere else after they get released for less money than they were getting paid because you’re not going to trade for that.”
Kelly makes a good point: Many of the players he’s cut, like DeSean Jackson and Evan Mathis, are very good players. But they were also overpaid players with the Eagles.
That’s why Jackson had to take less money in Washington than he was making in Philly, and why Mathis will almost certainly remain unsigned until he agrees to a deal that pays him less money than the Eagles were paying him.
Kelly also pointed out that that happens around the league: Darrelle Revis may be the best cornerback in the NFL, but the Patriots still cut him this year rather than pay him $20 million.
“They had one common denominator — they were all very expensive,” Kelly said. “I think that’s just the nature of contracts in this league. A lot of them are back-end loaded. Then decisions have to be made. So guys are making $10, $11 million a year, you have to make a decision on them.”
For expensive veterans, the decision Kelly usually makes is to cut them and find someone cheaper.