IF EVER anyone questioned Chip Kelly's commitment to culture over talent and scheme, they certainly cannot question it now.
DeSean Jackson was just the beginning.
We have not seen the end.
Two seasons into his tenure, Kelly has total control. He is exercising it like the former college coach he is.
Any whiff of nonconformity, you're out.
Ability and age, injury and salary play important roles in Kelly's template, too. Still, a warning to Eagles current and future:
Rent, don't buy.
Maybe week-to-week. Maybe a hotel room.
Not that any of Kelly's splashy moves lack merit.
Really, 32-year-old right guard Todd Herremans lost half of last season to a biceps injury, his second serious injury in three seasons, and he is a better left guard. Linebacker DeMeco Ryans, 30 and coming off a second torn Achilles' tendon in 4 years, is due to make $6.8 million. You can bet that he's next.
Neither Herremans nor Ryans fits poorly with Kelly's culture; in fact, Kelly called Ryans "Mufasa" when Ryans went down last season.
Ryans might be the Lion King, but not even Siegfried & Roy would pay him that kind of money.
The rest of the casualties, both present and future, had plenty of culture clashes.
Trent Cole, also 32, is an outside linebacker the way Nick Foles is a running quarterback: only in a pinch. He was never as comfortable or as effective at linebacker as he was as a 4-3 defensive end.
Cary Williams, 30, was solid for two seasons, but he was never better than that, and sometimes was worse. He was a petulant player who took bad penalties, too.
They were cut.
Understand this: Their issues made them unattractive enough that no one else wanted them at their current prices, either.
LeSean McCoy, 26, didn't run as effectively last season as he did in 2013, whether or not the line blocking for him was fit. The pending trade of McCoy to the Bills will save the Eagles about $10 million, import a cheap, known-quantity, young linebacker, Kiko Alonso . . . and give a whole new meaning to "Machine Gun" Kelly's moniker.
You either see eye-to-eye with Chippah, or rat-a-tat-tat.
Again, none of these most recent moves lacks logic. Also, none was unpredictable, even last year this time.
They were, however, indicative of a man intent on creating a culture of conformity. The self-important need not apply.
You might point to bright offensive linemen Jason Kelce and Evan Mathis as free thinkers, but both are open-minded and both are in total lockstep. In fact, Mathis believed in pretty much everything Kelly stands for even before Kelly came to Philadelphia in 2013. Kelce bought in enough to warrant an extension after last season.
Neither skipped a voluntary workout to shop for sconces and attend a preschool ballet recital.
Neither complained of dead legs three games into the 2014 season.
Neither got into a fight with Riley Cooper after a recording of Cooper using a racial slur was released in 2013.
Williams did all of those things.
His fight with Cooper during Cooper's oafishly orchestrated re-engagement with the team after his brief, self-imposed exile introduced the Eagles to Williams' true nature: uncontrollable, impetuous, self-preserving.
In case you have not been paying attention, those are not qualities that endear a player to Chip Kelly.
Williams also carried a $6.5 million price tag this season; the Eagles' cap will still suffer a $1.7 million charge. Certainly, a player with five interceptions in 2 years and, apparently, poor endurance isn't worth that sort of money.
Williams knew he was on his way out. He let it be known the day after the season that he was sick of Kelly's culture, crowing in his locker at passersby, isolated from teammates - soon to be ex-teammates.
So did Cole.
He told the Daily News in January that he always was better suited to be a defensive end on a four-lineman front. Unwilling to take what must have been an insulting pay cut from the $10 million he was due in 2015, he recently tweeted about a lack of respect. He also passionately (and tastelessly) tweeted that he couldn't wait to hit the "Auction Block" on Saturday, when free-agent negotiations can begin.
Cole is angry. The Eagles better hope he signs with Alberta.
Brandon Graham told the Daily News he also was a better fit at end. His contract expired; he will be a free agent, too.
Cole and Graham are right. They were drafted and groomed to be ends.
And, even while they converted to outside linebacker, they let Kelly's staff know that they were miscast.
So, their end.
As for McCoy - well, his character-shredding shenanigans on Twitter and the Jersey Turnpike helped frame a me-first profile. He enhanced the profile with his embarrassing self-promotion as one of the league's top backs.
McCoy was mentored by Asante Samuel and Jackson before they were jettisoned. They were talented and they played hard, but that pair was as selfish as they come.
This season, in excellent shape and diplomatic about Jackson's tainted departure, McCoy held it together pretty well. Then he openly chafed when he was briefly benched during a win over the Rams on Oct. 5. NFL Network analyst LaDanian Tomlinson said McCoy recently told him that he expected to leave Philadelphia; that his relationship with Kelly was "strained."
The correct response: What relationship?
As soon as Kelly got the chance, he sent Shady up the Pa. Turnpike, where he will serve as Rex Ryan's offensive fulcrum. McCoy has plenty of life left in his career, and he takes meticulous care of his feet, so this is a win for both sides.
Let's just hope waiters in Buffalo don't count on tip money to make ends meet.