There is an interesting theory floating around Twitter today on the heels of Jeffrey Lurie’s comments yesterday in which he said that promoting Chip Kelly to “GM” last year was “the right way to dissect whether Chip was going to be the right guy going forward or not” and that he sent Howie Roseman to a land far, far away to learn the art of football operations managing. It goes like this: Lurie and Roseman set Chip up to fail.
Gotta say, I appreciate a good nefarious theory more than anyone, and on the surface, this holds some weight. Chip today said Howie handled negotiations— ergo, he handed out ludicrous sums to Byron Maxwell and DeMarco Murray, both of whom he got rid of this year. Matt Lombardo heard that Roseman was the one who wanted Maxwell. So while we all blamed Chip for those two massive failures, Howie was partly responsible. Meanwhile, Lurie had a mysterious Emperor Palpatine twang to his voice yesterday as he described positioning the dominos for Chip to either succeed or fail. Luke! It’s a trap! And with rumors of Chip’s demise popping up as early as November, it’s fair to assume Lurie never even gave him a real chance to do the former. All the while, Roseman was away learning the dark side of force, training with the sports Yodas in the EPL, preparing to take over The Gold Standard once public opinion swayed away from Chip. I know I just bastardized several Star Wars plotlines, but this all certainly feels like something Lord Lurie could’ve been behind all along.
Except, I think he’s full of shit.
Lurie’s claim that he gave Chip power in order find out if he had what it took to be successful is a convenient way to hide behind his decision and make it look like he came out the winner – it was only a time expense! – as he sidesteps criticism that he settled on Roseman. But I just don’t buy that Lurie had this much foresight, especially when you consider that Chip was coming off two 10-6 seasons and was basically the toast of the league. At the time, understandably(!), Chip seemed like he would be exponentially more qualified than Roseman, whose track record was spotty at best.
The end result is that this did provide Lurie a convenient way to judge Chip, but I highly, highly doubt that he decided to run this experiment in a real-world scenario. Time expense my ass. Whether you agreed with Chip’s decisions or not, the fact is the Eagles are now erasing an era and starting, in the words of the great Brian McKnight, Back at One. The time expense is not one year, it’s a 3-4 year period and millions in wasted salary.
And I’m not even so sure Roseman was the fallback plan all along. What happened to that “competitive advantage” thing about a top secret personnel guy who turned out to be no one? Are we supposed to just forget about that and believe that Howie was the guy all along? I smell some BS. Mesahthinks this is Lurie sugarcoating a series of front office decisions gone awry and trying to sell us on boy genius Roseman, all the while 67th-option coaching candidate Doug Pederson is wearing a headset over his thick, silver hair.