Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Chip Kelly has final say over 53-man roster

Eagles coach Chip Kelly confirmed he has final say over the 53-man roster on Tuesday, which is a relevant piece of information because the head coach does not have control over the 53-man roster on most teams.

The head coach has final say on the 53-man roster on just five NFL teams, and two of those coaches have additional titles that gives them full control of football operations. The general manager has final say on 24 teams. There are three teams in which it's ambiguous. This is all according to's Albert Breer, who did a series this summer on who has control in each organization. 

Kelly's confirmation reveals just how coach-centric the Eagles organization is, even if general manager Howie Roseman holds significant power -- especially during the offseason and with the player transactions. He runs the draft and free agency, for example, and is in a more stream-lined structure than when he was originally general manager.

"We're on the same page on everything," Kelly said. "There hasn't been a decision, personnel wise, since I've been here, where I felt one way and he felt another way."

Kelly is the only new hire this offseason who has final say on the 53-man roster. That includes Andy Reid in Kansas City, where general manager John Dorsey has the final decision on the 53-man roster.

In Cleveland, where Kelly was also a candidate, Joe Banner has final say on the 53-man roster.

When Roseman was asked directly about who has final say on the 53-man roster when camp opened, he evaded the question.

"We don't get into the decision-making here," Roseman said. "We do that together. We spend a lot of time together as a staff. We spend a lot of time together, Chip and I, and all those things have really worked out. We've had discussions. It's OK to have debate and discussions. We go forward togethera as one."

Though it's true that Kelly and Roseman work together, it's relevant to know who has the final say on a decision. There will be players released or kept on Saturday who were Roseman's draft picks, or players released or kept that played for Kelly at Oregon and Kelly has a prior relationship with.

And if the partnership between the head coach and general manager continues for as long as they believe it will, then there will be decisions that will be looked back on in a few years as either good or bad decisions. If it's a bubble player kept or cut, then it will be clear Kelly had the final say on the 53-man roster.

"There hasn't been a situation where it's this guy or that guy, and two guys are standing on soap boxes saying, 'We're going one direction and not the other direction'," Kelly said. "When you have guys who are professional and see the other side of it and understand how it fits in the grand scheme of things, I think he sees big picture and I see big picture, and that's why we get along so well."

Contact Zach Berman at Follow on Twitter @ZBerm.