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Chip Kelly says LeSean McCoy has the right to be upset, apologizes for how trade was handled

"My bad, Shady."
"My bad, Shady."
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

On Wednesday, Chip Kelly was asked if he would shake LeSean McCoy's hand. He said he would. On Wednesday, LeSean McCoy was asked if he he would shake Chip Kelly's hand. He said he would not. McCoy's exact words were: "Listen man, Chip can't shake shit. At all. Nothing. He knows this. ...I can read between the lines." So while McCoy has suggested he's not angry over being traded, his actions suggest otherwise.

But Kelly doesn't blame McCoy for feeling the way he does. The Eagles' coach told reporters he understands why McCoy is upset. Kelly also accepted blame and apologized for how poorly the McCoy trade was handled. Earlier this offseason, Kelly noted Buffalo was to blame for the leak. On Thursday, however, he took complete responsibility. From Kelly's press conference on Thursday:

Q: He said yesterday that he does not want to shake your hand. As a coach who’s devoted a lot of time to a player, does that bother you?

KELLY: That’s his choice, and I understand it. And how he was traded wasn’t handled right, and I’ve said that before. I did not get an opportunity to talk to him. It’s a lesson that we should never do. To be honest with you, is that we were told the trade wasn’t initiated and wouldn’t be initiated until the next morning so there were no phone calls to be made. And all of the 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, but rightly so.

Every player that’s ever left this team, I’ve talked to them personally myself. Everyone 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. And I understand why he’s bothered.  He was an all-time leading running back here. I 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 Nick [Foles] with Jeff Fisher, it was a great situation. Jeff and me 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 our phone calls with our players, text each other.’ He texted me he was done, I texted him I was done, I then called Sam, he then called Nick. And that’s the way it should have been done. It wasn’t handled that way with LeSean and I understand why he’s not happy about it and he should not be happy about it. I would apologize for that because it didn’t happen the right way.

But on 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, and 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 would 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 here. The only reason he wasn’t [brought back] is because 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, but 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."

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