Chip again downplays possibility of moving up for Mariota
Chip Kelly endured what he called "my yearly dental appointment," an hour around a table with reporters at the NFL Meetings. Topics included Howie Roseman and Marcus Mariota, of course.
PHOENIX --- Speaking at the NFC coaches breakfast Wednesday, Chip Kelly again downplayed scenarios in which the Eagles would trade up to draft his former Oregon quarterback, Marcus Mariota.
Kelly said the original Sam Bradford trade with St. Louis did not include Nick Foles, whom Kelly said the Eagles wanted to keep. He said the Rams "at the last second, wanted players."
Asked if any teams had called about trading for Bradford, since Kelly told us two weeks ago that another team had offered a first-rounder for him, Kelly said: "No." Later, a Cleveland reporter tried to get Kelly to confirm reports that the Browns were the team offering the first-rounder, to the Rams and then to the Eagles. Kelly said he would never discuss such negotiations. He also declined to discuss any talks to extend Bradford's contract.
Kelly said Bradford has been rehabbing his ACL injury at the Eagles' facility, and is on schedule to be full-go for training camp. "I know he's running and moving around right now," Kelly said.
"You hope so," Kelly said, when asked if he thinks Bradford will be a franchise QB, if he can stay healthy. "But I'm not a predictor guy. I'm not going to put a label on anybody."
Kelly also said moving from Howie Roseman to Ed Marynowitz in charge of personnel -- with Marynowitz more clearly under Kelly than Roseman was -- had to do with "trying to maximize everyone's strengths. Howie does an unbelivable job from the contract side, the cap side. We're just moving in a different direction on the personnel side."
Asked his thoughts on Roseman as a talent evaluator, Kelly said, "I thought he was good." Kelly didn't elaborate.
"Philosophically, I want to keep all the draft picks," Kelly said, when asked about trading up from 20th overall. "I think you build your team through the draft. So if you gut yourself for one year and one guy, philosophically, I don't think that's the right thing to do."
Does that mean you don't do that?
Kelly said two weeks ago he thought the cost for moving to the top of the draft would be too great, would do too much harm to the future of the organization. Asked if there is a point where Mariota could drop that might make a trade more possible, Kelly said, "No. I could deal with hypotheticals all the time. Give me a scenario. If it goes to 12, and it's going to cost us a seventh-round conditional pick, then I would be very --- you could go back and forth."
Given a hypothetical that would involve the Eagles giving two first-round picks to move up to sixth overall, Kelly said: "Never get to it. It took two first round picks to go from six to two (when the Redskins traded up for Robert Griffin III) three years ago."
As is his wont, Kelly lobbed in a completely irrelevant -- though entertaining to debate -- comparison to his situation, noting that no one spent months conjuring ways Jim Harbaugh, then the 49ers' coach, could draft his college quarterback, Andrew Luck, in 2012.
There were several problems there. One was that there was never any hint the Colts would consider anything other than drafting Luck. Another would be that the 49ers had Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick, who'd just led them to a 13-3 season and playoff win, so they were probably thinking their QB job was in pretty good hands right about then.
Kelly also confirmed that agent Drew Rosenhaus has again been given permission to seek a trade for left guard Evan Mathis, and that again, there has been no interest. He touted Allen Barbre as the successor to Todd Herremans at right guard.
Kelly seems to envision Brandon Boykin, perhaps finally freed from the slot, competing with Nolan Carroll for the starting corner job opposite Byron Maxwell. He said Jaylen Watkins will get a chance at safety, alongside Malcolm Jenkins.