Two days ago, the Eagles and V.P. of player personnel Tom Gamble had the latest “mutual parting” that was anything but mutual. Reportedly, the Eagles not only fired Gamble but also escorted him out of the building.
The Eagles have said nothing publicly about the reasons for Gamble’s departure. Coupled with coach Chip Kelly’s recent praise for the man who set the table for Kelly’s exercise of final say over the roster, speculation has run rampant that Kelly and G.M. Howie Roseman engaged in a showdown over Gamble — and that Roseman won.
If so, the question becomes whether Kelly will accept that outcome. A plugged-in league source senses based on the current dynamics in the front office that “something big” could be happening. So what could that something big be?
No one knows at this point. Kelly may have told owner Jeffrey Lurie that either Kelly goes or Roseman goes. Lurie may have responded by deciding to move on from Roseman, who previously won a power struggle with former team president Joe Banner, Lurie’s boyhood friend. Or Lurie may have responded by telling Kelly that both guys are staying, and that Kelly remains under contract for three years.
As a practical matter, that may not be an ideal solution. If the Kelly-Roseman dynamic already is becoming the 2015 version of Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke, forcing Kelly to stay when he doesn’t want to will cause only more dysfunction.
Another possibility would be to trade Kelly to one of the various teams with a head-coaching vacancy. An effort to trade Kelly would explain the extreme silence, since any team that would be trading for Kelly would first have to comply with the Rooney Rule by interviewing at least one minority candidate. Once the team(s) interested in Kelly have interviewed at least one minority candidate, a Kelly trade could happen.
I’m not saying a Kelly trade will happen. But if the Gamble firing has driven a permanent wedge between Kelly and Roseman and if Lurie won’t be firing Roseman, trading Kelly could become the only sensible alternative.