<
>

Doug Pederson: Purge has 'never been about Chip Kelly's guys'

play
Howie Roseman's moves not much like Chip Kelly's 2015 (2:45)

It may look as if the Philadelphia Eagles are repeating last year's offseason spree. Chip Kelly made a lot of big moves in March, then was fired in December. With Howie Roseman back in charge, the Eagles made trades and signed eight new players so far. (2:45)

The obvious conclusion to draw from the Philadelphia Eagles' offseason so far is that the team has deliberately tried to clear the roster of former coach Chip Kelly's acquisitions.

DeMarco Murray, Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso are gone. All were added during Kelly's 2015 offseason spree.

Kelly's replacement, Doug Pederson, said the perception wasn't exactly accurate.

"It's never been about Chip Kelly's guys," Pederson told the NFL Network on Monday. "To me, it's about the Philadelphia Eagles and how can we better our roster and better our football team? I feel like with Howie Roseman and myself, we've been able to do that this offseason.

"We're always going to look to better your team. If you're not, you're not moving forward. I don't look at it that way. I just look at it as Philadelphia Eagles and players that we bring in or lose. You're going to lose them anyway."

Pederson's explanation is actually pretty much the same as Kelly's at this time last year. Kelly traded running back LeSean McCoy because his salary-cap hit was nearly $12 million for 2015. Kelly was able to clear that space, then signed Murray and Ryan Mathews at a lower cap cost.

Kelly had concluded that the Eagles would remain stalled with Nick Foles at quarterback. He traded Foles for Sam Bradford, hoping he was getting a franchise quarterback at an injury discount. Pederson and Roseman, the executive vice president of football operations, doubled down on that gamble. They signed Bradford to a new two-year contract earlier this month.

"I think the biggest thing is re-signing our current players," Pederson said. "Obviously, it starts with the quarterback position and Sam Bradford. You always want to make sure your quarterback position is solidified. Getting Sam signed is a big benefit to us as an offense.

"We really feel like he's got his best days ahead of him and his best games ahead of him."

The Eagles also signed former Kansas City Chiefs backup Chase Daniel. Pederson reiterated that Bradford is at the top of the depth chart, but he expanded his explanation of Daniel's role.

"Chase is a guy who's coming at the No. 2," Pederson said. "Sam's No. 1 going in. [Daniel] brings a level of consistency in the offense I'm bringing. He can help teach the offense to a lot of the players. He's another coach for me on the football field. He's going to be great for Sam Bradford."

In his appearance on the NFL Network, Pederson said he expected his team to contend in 2016.

"I'll tell you what, high expectations right now," Pederson said. "Looking forward to this season -- a team that's going to be competitive, a team that's going to be there at the end. I want this team to understand that we're going to work. We're going to work hard from Day 1. It starts April 4 with OTAs for us."