There were more ex-Eagles than current Eagles at Todd Herremans' third annual Hoops 4 Hope fund raiser Thursday night at Vie Restaurant. A month ago, LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, Trent Cole and Herremans were four of the more notable Eagles and accounted for a combined 32 seasons in Philadelphia.
But after a flurry of moves and decisions from Chip Kelly that had McCoy dealt to the Bills, Maclin choosing the Chiefs, Cole and Herremans released and eventually signed by the Colts, and Nick Foles traded to the Rams, the Eagles took on a dramatically different look in a matter of weeks.
"If you would have told me two years ago that that would be the case, I would have laughed," Maclin said when asked if he could have envisioned the Eagles parting with the starting quarterback, running back and No. 1 wide receiver in the same offseason. "This is a business, man. Things like that happen."
Maclin was the only one to leave on his own accord, however. Kelly said the Eagles wanted the receiver back but ultimately couldn't match Kansas City's offer of five years for $55 million with $22.5 million guaranteed.
"It wasn't really about money," Maclin said. "Obviously you want to get paid because of all the stuff that you do. But it wasn't necessarily about who could pay me the most money."
For weeks during the offseason, Maclin said he anticipated a deal getting done with the Eagles because both sides had made it clear they wanted the same thing. But negotiations slowed as free agency neared and the Chiefs became appealing because Maclin would have the chance to play for Andy Reid again, close to his hometown in Missouri.
"I still believe in Chip," Maclin said. "I think Chip's going to do great things here. I have the utmost respect for him. Unfortunately, we couldn't get something worked out. But at the end of the day I'm very excited about playing for Kansas City and playing for Big Red."
McCoy declined an interview request.
Herremans said he didn't have any hard feelings about being waived and Cole echoed the sentiment, but the linebacker had tweeted, "No respect!" the day the Eagles announced his release.
"It's all emotion," Cole said about his tweet. ". . . So it's all right. It's hard to leave a great city, a great fan base, I think still a great organization. But now it's time to move on."
Both sides had tried to work out a new contract. Cole ended up signing a two-year, $14 million deal with the Colts after Herremans signed a one-year contract. They left after 10 seasons and were the longest-tenured Eagles.
"I knew there were going to be a few things happening this offseason," Herremans said. "I didn't expect myself to be one of them. But then after that happened, I was just like, 'Wow, the [stuff] might hit the fan this offseason. He's just trying to clean house.' "
Herremans said the Foles trade for quarterback Sam Bradford was the move that shocked him most.
Linebacker Connor Barwin said that year-to-year turnover in the NFL isn't unexpected.
"I can't speak for everybody, but for me it didn't change my thought on how the roster is, what it's like being in the NFL," Barwin said. "After six years, you know these things can happen."
Barwin said he was excited about the additions made to the defense: inside linebacker Kiko Alonso, who came in the McCoy trade, signing cornerback Byron Maxwell and retaining outside linebacker Brandon Graham.
While the offense lost almost 3,000 yards in McCoy and Maclin, center Jason Kelce said that running backs DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews would help supplement the loss. He also said that Bradford has been a mainstay at the NovaCare Complex over the last two weeks as he rehabs from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Kelce said that speculation about Kelly's moving up to draft Marcus Mariota was probably unrealistic.
"I don't think Mariota will be the quarterback, but there have been a lot things this offseason that have been surprising, so I'm not going to rule anything out," Kelce said. "But I think that from what Chip has been saying in the media . . . I'd be surprised if they still made a move for Mariota."