by John McMullen
Phanatic Managing Editor
Philadelphia, PA --
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie once called his operation "kind of the gold standard."
These days, it's kind of a mess thanks to the distrust between coach
Chip Kelly and his former boss, Howie Roseman. In fact, the gold
standard has gone from zero to dysfunction faster than your average
Kelly won a power struggle back in January, gaining full control of the
personnel side and banishing Roseman back to the business end of the
operation, where the ex-GM is supposed to be handling the contract
negotiations of the players Kelly wants.
Yet the rift between the two is so deep that Roseman's office at the
team's facility, which used to be two doors down from Kelly's, was
recently moved from the football operations end of the building to the
business side, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Most who lose power struggles typically are shown the door but Lurie is
hedging his bets here and trying to serve two masters, attempting to
keep his indispensable right-hand man (Roseman) in case the flavor of
the month (Kelly) turns out to be exactly that.
Roseman's natural state is that of a shark, however, a take-no-
prisoners operative in the mold of a Rahm Emanuel. At 39, he was the
youngest GM in all of football and the list of executives who have lost
power struggles to him is stunning: Joe Banner, Tom Heckert, Jason
Licht, Ryan Grigson, Louis Riddick, and Kelly's friend Tom Gamble.
And although he finally lost one to Kelly, Roseman is staying put for
now and still swimming while playing the waiting game, hoping the extra
rope Kelly has been given will be enough to hang the coach Howie had a
hand in hiring.
Anyone who knows Roseman and what makes him tick understands his first
love is personnel so having that aspect of the job taken away from him
has been difficult despite the consolation prize of a fancy new title
(executive vice president of football operations) and a few more zeros
in his paycheck.
Roseman, though, understands Lurie couldn't chose him over Kelly this
early in the former Oregon coach's tenure because the Eagles changed
their entire culture to lure Kelly from the college ranks and his
unconventional methods simply can't be duplicated.
Roseman is now actively trying to speed up Kelly's demise, speaking out
about the coach's perceived willingness to mortgage the future in an
effort to reunite with his old college quarterback, Marcus Mariota.
The Eagles are scheduled to pick at No. 20 on April 30 and moving up to
the top spot or even No. 2 in an effort to get Mariota is almost
untenable unless Kelly is willing to risk it all, something Roseman
seems to be secretly rooting for in the hopes it ultimately fails.
"When you're looking at trading up, at some point, your board drops off
so dramatically in terms of how you evaluate that player," Roseman
recently said at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston.
"But the history of trading up for one player, when you look at those
trades, isn't good for the team trading up and putting a lot of
resources into it."
If that sounds passive aggressive to you, give yourself a gold star.
It's almost as if Roseman is attempting to get his thought process on
the record in the hopes Kelly does indeed ship multiple first-round
draft picks and a big- name star or two to whomever in an effort to get a
player Kelly and some draftniks seem much higher on than the rest of
"I think Marcus will be successful whether he's an NFL player, a banker,
a teacher, a fireman, a policeman," Kelly said on a Philadelphia-area
radio station when asked about his former recruit. "I've said it before
about some other players, but if you can buy stock in a human being, you
buy stock in that kid because he'll always be successful in anything he
Roseman offered a far different spin in Boston.
"If you're hitting on 60 percent of your first-round picks, that's a
pretty good track record," Roseman said. "And then it's dropping as you
go through the rounds. So really, the more chances you get, the more
tickets to the lottery you get, the better you should be doing."
When Roseman was in charge, he practiced what he preached, amassing 48 draft picks during five years.
"At the end of the day, it's about the player you picked," Roseman said.
"You can go through each round of the draft on players on your team and
see you have guys who are really good players from the fourth, fifth,
sixth, and seventh round ... There's always value."
"You can kind of convince yourself of, 'Who am I really going to get in
the fifth or sixth round? Roseman continued. "I'm willing to give up
that pick, because I really want this player in the second or third
round. But it's all about the evaluations and getting the right players
into your building."
You do need the right players in the facility but you also need the
right front-office people and even if Philadelphia finds its next
superstar QB in late April, it's still going to missing one- half of