PHILADELPHIA – GM Chip Kelly cost coach Chip Kelly his job.
The Philadelphia Eagles fired Kelly on Tuesday night with one game left in his third season, dumping the coach/personnel boss after his team missed the playoffs in consecutive years.
Kelly was released before the finale of a disappointing season that began with Super Bowl expectations. The Eagles are 6-9 after going 10-6 two years in a row. They were eliminated from playoff contention after losing to Washington at home on Saturday night.
Eagles CEO Jeffrey Lurie issued a one-sentence statement to the media, saying he appreciates Kelly's contributions and wishes him success going forward. Lurie told fans in an e-mail that he decided to make a change after "evaluating the many factors involved in our performance as a team."
The Eagles also fired Ed Marynowitz, vice president of player personnel. Longtime NFL executive Tom Donahoe will assume the role of senior director of player personnel.
Kelly gained full control of personnel decisions last offseason, winning a power struggle with then-general manager Howie Roseman. But Kelly tore apart a winning team and several of his bold moves backfired.
Since March 2014, Kelly released three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson, traded two-time All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy, didn't re-sign 2014 Pro Bowl wideout Jeremy Maclin, cut two-time Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis and traded quarterback Nick Foles and a 2016 second-round draft pick for Sam Bradford.
He also gave big money in free agency to running back DeMarco Murray and cornerback Byron Maxwell. Murray has been a bust and Maxwell has underperformed. Kelly even signed Tim Tebow, but released him after he won the competition for the No. 3 quarterback job.
Kelly didn't want players perceived as "me-first" guys. He alienated some of his players, though the only ones who spoke out against him did it after they were gone.
McCoy, the franchise's all-time leading rusher and a fan favorite, made headlines when he said there's a reason Kelly got rid of "all the good black players." Cornerback Brandon Boykin, traded to Pittsburgh, said Kelly was "uncomfortable" around black players.
Other players supported Kelly and moves such as signing Murray and Maxwell contradicted McCoy's claim. But Kelly's reputation took a hit anyway.
Shortly after Kelly was fired, Eagles linebacker Emmanuel Acho tweeted: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Suspended Browns receiver Josh Gordon tweeted: "Shady, Maclin, Foles, Djax.. Smh [Shaking my head]."
Kelly replaced Andy Reid after a 4-12 season and led the Eagles to an NFC East title in 2013. But the Eagles lost at home to New Orleans in the playoffs and missed the postseason in 2014 following a 9-3 start.
Kelly was considered one of the most innovative coaches in college when the Eagles lured him away from Oregon in 2013. He brought his up-tempo offense with him.