So why did Frank Gore back out of his agreement to sign with the Eagles, anyway?
According to Mike Garafolo, there were several factors. One of them was Philadelphia head coach Chip Kelly.
"A source said Gore also indicated to a friend he was concerned with what he heard about Kelly's overbearing approach in Philly. Kelly's intense, no-nonsense approach — which has helped make him successful throughout his college and professional coaching career — initially rubbed McCoy the wrong way, though McCoy and Kelly were able to patch up their relationship for a good part of their two seasons together. However, receiver DeSean Jackson and cornerback Cary Williams were among those who didn't mesh well with Kelly's philosophy, and Williams indicated Kelly's lengthy, up-tempo practices were an issue for veterans who wanted to rest their bodies during the week."
Garafolo also notes the Colts are offering Gore a more lucrative deal than the Eagles did, so that's a huge factor as well. But what Garafolo had to say kind of matches up with something Jason Cole hinted at last week when he said players could be "leery" of joining the Eagles:
""In talking to players around the league about these moves, they were left a little leery of Chip Kelly and asking: "What exactly is he doing?"
Because it’s not just LeSean McCoy, who he just traded. He’s let go of Todd Herremans, he’s let go of Cary Williams, he’s let go of Trent Cole, this is a year of letting go of DeSean Jackson. And all the sudden players are looking and going: "Does Chip Kelly value players in this league?" Or does he value his own system? And it’s basically "Is he full of himself?" or does he understand it’s about talent?
So ultimately while the Eagles now have about $50 million in cap space after all of these moves, you have to wonder if players are going to sit there and say: "I’m not sure I want to play for the Eagles because I’m not sure that Chip Kelly is going to hold onto good players over the long run or value himself in the process."
Rand Getlin of Yahoo! tweeted out the following message in a span of tweets after Garafolo's report emerged:
"Chip Kelly is divisive. That's not a surprise. His reputation among players around the league isn't stellar. Split opinions at Oregon, too. One thing that is indisputable about Chip though is that he's a helluva coach. May not be for everyone but he's never run from that reality. Kelly asks questions, seeks out the input of others and generally keeps an open mind. But once he's done that, he makes his decision & goes. Chip is a complex character. Some people who know him swear by him, others who know him have been disappointed by him. Contains multitudes."
Some thoughts: there's probably some truth to these inklings. I don't doubt that not everyone loves Chip Kelly. I do think it's entirely relevant that the Colts are offering more money for Gore. I also find it odd that Gore thinks Kelly is overbearing when his past two coaches were Mike Singletary and Jim Harbaugh, who are hardly easy going guys. And how did Gore know nothing about Kelly before agreeing to sign with the Eagles?
There's no denying the Eagles have missed out on some free agents they wanted to sign this offseason. I just don't know how much of that had to do with Chip Kelly compared to other factors.
Especially when you hear things like this: