In case you are not following it, and since this is a Miami Dolphins site, you may not be, there is drama surrounding the Philadelphia Eagles right now. If you thought the craziness of the Dolphins' 2013-2014 bully-gate/GM firing and search was odd, wait until you get to the end of this saga.
Two days ago, the Eagles fired Vice President of Player Personnel Tom Gamble. You may remember the name as he was a leading candidate for the Dolphins general manager position last offseason and was interviewed twice for the spot. He ultimately decided to stay in Philadelphia, however, so he was nearby his ailing father who ultimately passed away.
The firing was a surprise, which appears to be where the drama going on in Eagles headquarters began to manifest itself. Gamble joined the Eagles in 2013, along with head coach Chip Kelly, and the coach and VP were said to have a close relationship. The relationship between Kelly and Eagles GM Howie Roseman was descried as "good" by Kelly as the season ended, but there does not seem to be anything more than a business relationship. Roseman worked his way up in the NFL as a salary cap guru, eventually becoming the GM for the Eagles in 2010. He has worked hard to show he is more than just a salary cap guy, despite having never been a scout or coach.
So when Kelly praised the scouting abilities of Gamble at the end of the year, but only talked about Roseman's salary cap work, the GM took that as a slight. Then, it appears, Roseman, in wanting to shore up the power of the front office, and, possibly as a retaliatory move to that slight, removed Gamble from the Eagles front office.
Well, he did not actually remove Gamble. Instead, security had to escort Gamble out of the building.
Rumors continue to circulate that the shakeup of the Eagles front office may not be done, with Assistant Director of Player Personnel Ed Marynowitz also seen as a potential target for Roseman to fire.
And you thought the Dolphins had drama last year.
It appears now that the drama is not done, and the shake up could include the Eagles looking for a new head coach. A new rumors has started to spread, with Chip Kelly potentially looking for a way out of his contract, despite still having three years on the deal. This follows shortly after a Pro Football Talk tweet said "something big" is going on in Philly.
Eagles owner and CEO Jeffrey Lurie is said to be enamored with Roseman, believing him to be a "messiah" who can do no wrong, and is to be completely trusted. It's led to a "toxic" environment in Philadelphia, where, it appears, the power structure is to blame. All contact to Lurie goes through Roseman, as far as the reports seem to indicate. If he does not want Lurie to hear something, Lurie never hears it. How much contact Kelly has with the owner is not known.
Roseman appears to be set up as the head of football operations, with everyone reporting to him, including the VP of Player Personnel position Gamble previously held. Kelly seems to want to continue to have the decision making powers he was given at the start of the 2014 offseason. Now, it appears the two may be at a crossroads, and the answer may be a Jim Harbaugh-like exit from the Eagles.
Again, you thought the Dolphins had drama. And remember when the Dolphins' power structure, where the coach and the GM both answered directly to the owner (a system used by many teams around the league) was being ridiculed as too confusing for a GM. It's not looking so bad right now, is it?
One final note, if Kelly does leave the Eagles, he would be a high demand option for many teams (San Francisco?). What could be interesting, though, is, if the assistants begin leaving as well, does Miami offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, who left Philadelphia last offseason to come to South Florida, make a move to add any of them as offensive assistants?
Just a thought.
[UPDATE:] Media reports tonight indicate the Eagles have restructured their organization, with Roseman promoted to Executive Vice President of Football Operations, where he will work primarily on salary cap management, contract negotiations, and overseeing the team's staff. Kelly will now oversee the player personnel department of the team and will be in-charge of hiring a new executive to work under him in a "GM" type of role. Essentially, Kelly came out on top in the power play going on in Philadelphia, and will now, basically, run the entire football operations side, short of the salary cap management.