In a series of surprising statements by Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, the Eagles coach wanted to dispel the notion he was interested in trading for Oregon QB Marcus Mariota.
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Speaking to Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com, Kelly stated point blank that he didn’t want to trade a mountain of NFL draft picks to move up in the 2015 draft and grab Oregon QB Marcus Mariota.
“Let’s dispel that (talk of Mariota) right now,” Kelly said.
Kelly reiterated his belief that Mariota is the best QB in the 2015 NFL draft – ahead of Florida State QB Jameis Winston – but said he wouldn’t be willing to mortgage the future of the Eagles for the sake of moving up from the No. 20 overall pick just to take him.
Kelly: “Marcus is best QB in the draft. We will never mortgage our future to go up and get someone like that.” Spoken like a true GM.
— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) March 11, 2015
Before becoming the Eagles head coach in 2013, Kelly was the head coach of the Oregon Ducks and led the PAC-12 powerhouse to a National Championship game appearance. He recruited Mariota to the Ducks in 2011 and developed him into one of the top QBs in college football. Mariota would go on to win the Heisman Trophy and lead the Ducks to the National Championship game against the Ohio State Buckeyes in 2015. In addition, Kelly stated on Wednesday that he received an offer of a 1st-round draft pick for recently-acquired QB Sam Bradford, who Kelly acquired in a trade with the St. Louis Rams in exchange for QB Nick Foles and several draft picks yesterday.
Kelly said #Eagles were offered a first-round pick this morning for Bradford
— Eagles Insider (@EaglesInsider) March 11, 2015
Kelly has come under fire in recent days for trading All-Pro RB LeSean McCoy, releasing WR Jeremy Maclin and pass rusher Trent Cole, along with Foles and last year’s controversial release of WR Desean Jackson.