Not everything Chip Kelly did for the Philadelphia Eagles was a disaster, but it seems the team is acknowledging most of his moves in the previous offseason were mistakes, hence the trades to send away DeMarco Murray, Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell.
Three players Kelly acquired in 2015, all of them now leaving the team. Murray has been pushing for a trade since midway through last season, and the firing of Kelly didn’t convince him to stay. He’s going to the Tennessee Titans, which means he’s probably going to change the contract (five years, $40 million initially with $18 million guaranteed) because it’s hard to believe the Titans would have taken him at $8 million a season.
Murray wasn’t happy with how he was used in Kelly’s offense, feeling that being a downhill runner like he was for the Cowboys, which turned him into the league’s rushing champion in 2014, is better than what the Eagles offense had him doing. He finished with 702 rushing yards and 322 receiving yards, scoring 7 touchdowns overall in 15 games. He was coming off two consecutive seasons of rushing for over 1100 yards, including 2261 yards from scrimmage in 2014.
The Titans are hoping they have a game changer at running back for the first time since releasing Chris Johnson, avoiding paying out the $53.5 million in three years he had waiting for him before getting cut. Johnson, released in 2014, is the last Titans player to rush for over 100 yards in a game. Since he was cut, the Titans have gone just 5-27, which resulted in Ken Whisenhunt losing his job, and the Titans switching a general manager as well.
The other trade the Eagles are making sends two disappointing defensive players in Alonso and Maxwell to the Miami Dolphins. Maxwell signed a six-year, $63 million deal that included $25 million in guaranteed money, but disappointed last season at cornerback for the Eagles. Alonso arrived from the Buffalo Bills in the LeSean McCoy trade, but didn’t really make an impression in the 11 games he played in, notching up 43 tackles.
It’s interesting the Eagles have managed to move Maxwell considering his contract. This way, the Eagles only have to eat up $4.8 million in dead money and get $4.9 million of cap space relief. Meanwhile, the Dolphins take a $8.5 million cap charge in 2016 which is a bit more reasonable in comparison to what he was about to make in Philadelphia, but in 2017 the cap charge is going to rise once more to $11.5 million, and the backend of the contract is in the range of $10 million to $11 million a season, putting the Dolphins in a tough spot if Maxwell doesn’t play at a very high level.