LET’S get an early look at the Eagles rebuilding effort. Getting rid of talented players has so far proven easy for head coach Charles Kelly. WR DeSean Jackson was outright cut last year. This year RB LeSean McCoy was traded, and then they cheaped out on WR Jeremy Maclin as well. (Since fans are 50/50 on it, I won’t officially add CB Cary Williams to this pile, but for my money, they’re giving away talent again.)
Look, why do teams sign Free Agents? To add the most talent, right? They try to move up earlier in the Draft for the same reason, right? It would seem that NFL teams place a premium on amassing the most or the best talent.
So if they’re going to shed talent at this rate, shouldn’t they be replacing it just as fast? If not faster? Wouldn’t it be a shame if Kelly was less and less successful, the farther he got away from having Andy Reid’s roster? Especially now that all of the personnel decisions require him to sign off on them.
In this league when you shed a bunch of key veterans it’s called “rebuilding”. Problem is, rebuilding requires draft picks. High ones if you’re going to do it right. However if they trade away multiple high picks to draft a single QB, it’ll be years before they can get that QB any significant help. Unless of course we get lucky and they suddenly start drafting better than they have been.
If they’re rebuilding around Nick Foles (haha NOPE!) or some other QB that they DIDN’T trade the farm to pick, then we’re not in such a bad spot, right? Seems simple, but not so fast.
To make a rebuild work, we’d have to start sucking really soon, because a rebuilding team who’s drafting 20th – 24th in every round, every year is doing itself no favors. The problem is now the “In Chip I Trust” gang is dependent on those 10 win seasons. Those wins are their proof that he knows what he’s doing. Sliding back now would just make it seem like he needed the players he jettisoned. So he HAS TO keep winning now, just to save face.
Kelly no longer has the luxury of a fallback position. He had that when he first got the job, but he wanted to prove that “his way” worked. Blessed in 2013 with a last place schedule and a system no one was used to, also run in a way no one was used to, Kelly certainly “showed them”. The 2014 season was sort of the same thing, where he got fat on bottom feeders, and fell to contenders. Except in 2014 the locker room grumbled early, and as the team collapsed down the stretch, Kelly himself seemed without answers.
Now we’re a decidedly less talented team that trumpets things like signing 32 year old Frank Gore and his ailing hip. Under Kelly we draft poorly, trade stupid, and cheap out on our last resort, while signing racists to extensions that even their Madden characters could never rightfully earn.
Hey, don’t get mad at me! That’s what happened. I’m just the guy with the balls to say it. At present this is a 4 win team again. I don’t mean a team that underachieves to 4 wins, like under Reid. This is a team that even if the engine were gunned into the red, would max out at 4 wins. (Let me ask you, how do you think Gore’s hip will respond to Kelly’s practices?) We’ll see what else happens with moves this offseason, but my gut say that fans may want to temper their expectations.
If they don’t trade the farm to move up in this Draft, and then we tank in 2015, the team still has the picks to rebuild over the years and the position to do it. All it would cost is Kelly eating a little crow. But if he continues to be a smug, chubby, little bastard and blows a bushel of our picks on his pet project, then we’re dead in the water for years to come.