By Lewis Gould

Add former Inquirer columnist Phil Sheridan to the amen corner of media types who believe that whatever Chip Kelly does with the Eagles will not detour his ultimate return to college coaching.

Ray Didinger has said on many occasions that Kelly has not made “the investment” in being a long-term Eagles coach, the way the slow-talking, slow-thinking Andy Reid did. Yes, Reid made the commitment and he overstayed his welcome — 14 seasons even though the last six were sub-par.

Didinger even wrote in Kelly’s first year, which started 3-5 before ending 10-6, that Kelly would take the vacant USC job!!!!!!!

Which has become the second-best college coaching position in LA after UCLA.

Sheridan left the Inquirer a couple of years ago and now his typing is done for

A sample:

“Because of his marketability at the college level, Kelly is often the center of speculation that he could very easily abandon the Eagles if things don’t go well. He should have the option of whatever top college job opens up. Indeed, some college jobs just might open because a school wants to bring Kelly in. His stock is that high.”

That paragraph is known the journalism community as fact-free mush.

“Often the center of speculation?” By whom?

“He should have the option of whatever top college job opens up…” Really?

Where are the fact to back up that narrative?

There are none.

Sheridan then went on to enumerate the off-season moves Kelly has made and drew the conclusion that he has overpaid for much of the new talent.

Except he doesn’t put it that way.

An example:

The Dallas Cowboys wanted to hold the line at $24 million over four years for Murray. The Eagles went all the way to $42 million over five years. Oakland was also reportedly in the mix, but it’s fair to wonder if the Eagles overpaid based on the market.

Same with Maxwell. The Seahawks were not trying to compete to keep their starting cornerback. The deal with the Eagles got done very quickly.

Even at lower numbers, the Eagles seemed to be overpaying based on the market. Austin made $2 million last season on a one-year deal with the Cleveland Browns. The Eagles offered him up to $2.3 million. That’s for a player who said he had no other visits scheduled after three weeks on the free-agent market.

“It’s fair to wonder if the Eagles overpaid” is the wimp’s way of saying they overpaid.

Sheridan simply does not have the guts to say that.

He then covers his ass with the last paragraph:

Ultimately, the Eagles likely will be all right. The salary cap has risen each year and kept all but the most careless spending teams from getting into trouble. But it’s fair to wonder if the Eagles will wind up looking for relief from the contracts they’re giving out this offseason, and if that will make the situation in Philadelphia seem less attractive to Kelly in a year or two.

Here’s the thing, Phil.

The reason Kelly cleaned out many of the high-salaried players he inherited from the bumbling Reid and Howie Boy Roseman has less to do with him wanting to have his own players — he retained Brandon Graham, a Reid draft pick — than cleaning out the overspending that Howie Boy did in the past few years of his reign as GM.

Remember Nnamdi What’s His Name and Vince Young back in 2011?

How did that turn out?

Kelly is on track the make the Eagles a real Super Bowl contender.

And all Sheridan is doing is proving why the Inquirer is better off with Mike Sielski who replaced Sheridan as a columnist.

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