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Free agents could be "leery" of signing with Eagles because of Chip Kelly's philosophy

Potential problem? Or overstated concern?

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles cleared a lot of cap room with their recent moves. The team currently has over $50 million to work with, and they could potentially add to that figure with a few more roster cuts. Philadelphia is expected to be very active in free agency considering the team has a number of holes to fill.

But just how effective will the Eagles be at courting potential free agents? Jason Cole reports that some free agents are "leary" of signing in Philadelphia due to Chip Kelly's recent moves. Take a look at what he had to say:

"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."

The other thing with the $50 million is: is he doing this as part of the move to get Marcus Mariota by saying I’m going to buy players in free agency and trade all of my draft picks to go get Mariota?"


Herremans' radio interview comments from Tuesday morning about Kelly's system kind of go along with what Cole is reporting here.

"Well, I mean. I figure they can find something that works out like that. I guess it all just depends on how bad Chip [Kelly] wants [LeSean McCoy], and if he thinks that he’s that instrumental in his offense. If he feels he can get somebody cheaper and just plug him in, and still get production, then… we’ll see. [...] I don’t know. I think he values the quarterback position on his offense… The most. I think so. I think that all the other players… Well, quarterback and the offensive line. Other than that I think that he feels like he can kind of, you know, the system will take care of it."


Will this be a problem when it comes to the Eagles recruiting free agents? Maybe some players will feel that way. But for the most part, no, I don't think so.

Why? Because money talks the loudest. And the Eagles have a lot of that. The Eagles are going to be willing to pay players. They parted ways with the players that Cole referenced because they were declining veterans no longer worth their salaries. That's hardly unique to the Eagles. All teams do that at some point. And another thing to add is that, besides from Williams, none of those players were drafted or signed by Chip Kelly. It's hardly unprecedented for a new coach to eventually clean out a former coach's players.

The Eagles are likely going to be active in free agency. They're going to have money and players are going to want that money. I don't think Cole's report is a big concern for Philadelphia.

{UPDATE} Our own Mike Kaye spoke with two agents following the Cole's report:

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