PHILADELPHIA -- Chip Kelly's reconfiguration of the Philadelphia Eagles last year felt more drastic because Kelly was shipping out established players as part of creating a new culture around the team.
As it turns out, however, executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman's 2016 response to Kelly's 2015 makeover will wind up creating even more change to the Eagles' lineup. And Roseman is not done yet.
In 2015, Kelly's moves affected nine starting positions and included the acquisition of five key new players. Kelly signed or traded for a new quarterback (Sam Bradford), two new running backs (DeMarco Murray and backup Ryan Mathews), a new linebacker (Kiko Alonso) and two new defensive backs (Byron Maxwell and Walter Thurmond).
A year later, Roseman's moves so far have impacted at least 12 positions while bringing in four new likely starters. Chase Daniel, who is likely to be the backup quarterback, is a significant addition who does count in those totals.
Roseman has negotiated new contracts with a total of nine starters: Bradford, Lane Johnson, Brandon Brooks, Zach Ertz, Vinny Curry, Ron Brooks, Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod and Leodis McKelvin. With free agency still open and the draft six weeks away, Roseman could still add new starters at left guard, cornerback and wide receiver.
Obviously, Bradford, Johnson, Ertz, Jenkins and Curry were Eagles last year. But Curry went from a rotational player in a 3-4 to a starter in the Eagles' new 4-3 defense. Ertz likely moved ahead of Brent Celek at tight end. Johnson and Jenkins were affirmed as core players for the Eagles.
Bradford was the quarterback last year, but now he has been given a vote of confidence from Roseman and new coach Doug Pederson. He isn't necessarily the team's franchise quarterback after signing a two-year deal, but he will play that role until someone else comes along.
In a way, Roseman's commitment to current Eagles is as radical a change as Kelly's 2015 housecleaning. Under Kelly, it seemed, being an Eagle seemed to qualify players only to become ex-Eagles. Under Roseman, being an Eagle means being an Eagle for the long haul.
That change in the franchise's philosophy is important. For the previous two years, especially, players watched stars such as DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin walk out the door forever. Now players are watching the team invest in young players like Johnson, Ertz and Curry.
A new deal for Bradford meant an attempt to stop the spinning wheel at quarterback that has taken the Eagles from Kevin Kolb to Michael Vick to Nick Foles to Bradford.
In a real sense, Roseman is trying to get the Eagles back onto the track they were on in 2012 and 2013. The idea then was the build through the draft, extend young players' contracts and add only the occasional free agent. Kelly took the Eagles down another track, trying to change the makeup of the roster in one frantic offseason.
To get back to the original track, Roseman had to undo much of Kelly's handiwork. That meant an offseason at least as topsy-turvy as last year's. The goal is stability, but it took a little of Kelly-style instability to turn the franchise in that direction.