10. WORST: TRADING LESEAN MCCOY
Here’s a move that we can put here because someone thought it would be a good idea to let Chip Kelly make roster moves. What’s worse, he traded McCoy, straight up, for Kiko Alonso. Now, Alonso was stellar his rookie year, but when the trade went down? Oh, you know, Kiko was just recovering from a blown knee. So yes, this was maddening, especially considering how valuable and versatile a back McCoy is and was. There were even more frustrating things about this trade, too. For one, about how McCoy wasn’t a fit in Kelly’s scheme. For another, folks trying to say it was about saving money, when the Eagles then went out and spent a ton for DeMarco Murray (who flat out sucked in his one and only year in Philadelphia).
9. BEST: DUMPING BYRON MAXWELL AND KIKO ALONSO ON THE DOLPHINS
Let’s call this one like we see it: It was primarily about Howie Roseman, pack in power after Chip Kelly was fired, cleaning out the junk Kelly brought in. But it was also about clearing salary off the payroll, because Kelly clearly had no idea about salary caps (because in college, you could pay your players as much as you wanted). And, for the Eagles, it was another needed maneuver along their journey to get as high up the draft board as possible. Kiko may have been decent in Miami, but Maxwell just kept reminding fans that Philly was not just shedding salary. I mean, you’d think a team as in need of a CB as Philadelphia was, they’d find a way to keep someone if they were decent. That they couldn’t wait to send Maxwell packing should speak volumes.
8. WORST: LETTING BRIAN DAWKINS LEAVE AS A FREE AGENT
Here is one guy whom you hated to see leave. Fans were upset. Fans were flat out angry. Brian Dawkins, simply put, was the heart and soul of the Eagles defense during his time in Philadelphia, and I’d venture to guess more fans had a #20 Dawkins jersey in their collection than any other Eagles player at the time. From the business side of things, yes, I can absolutely see why the front office would, on paper, justify not re-signing that player. But Dawkins was a guy worth more than what the statistics show. He was an emotional leader in the locker room, and a man the team and fans alike adored. He may have only had a season or two left in his tank when he left as a free agent, but every Eagles fan knows that those years should have never been played in any other jersey but an Eagles one.
7. BEST: SIGNING TROY VINCENT
As great a safety as Brian Dawkins was, the entire Eagles secondary during that stretch was phenomenal. That in and of itself is one reason why that iteration of Eagles defense was so impressive. But Dawkins alone could not be the defense, right? Right. And one of the key pieces, working alongside Mr. Dawkins? That would be Troy Vincent, a free agent signee who left sunny South Florida (and the Dolphins) and opted to join the Eagles. Putting him in the same backfield as guys like Dawkins and Bobby Taylor gave defensive coordinator Jim Johnson a ton of confidence in calling up all sorts of blitzes. When your d-backs are excellent, you can bring the house and leave those guys one on one a lot.
6. WORST: HIRING RICH KOTITE
Kotite could have been impressive, but realistically his tenure was doomed from the start. Why? Well, he served under one of the most popular head coaches the franchise had ever had, Buddy Ryan (seriously, the man is still revered in the city to this day). So, when Ryan was shown the door, the Eagles promoted his offensive coordinator, Rich Kotite. Now, the truth is, Kotite actually had a couple decent years to start his tenure. But, after that, the talent that Ryan had drafted and who were loyal to him, started to leave as their contracts expired. And Kotite wasn’t exactly doing a great job replacing that talent, and the records suffered. Fortunately for Eagles fans, Norman Braman sold the Birds to Jeffrey Lurie during Kotite’s run, and one of the first things the new owner did was show Kotite the door.