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January 23, 2017

Eagles' Roseman: Rowe, others weren't traded because of ties to Chip Kelly

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On Monday morning, Philadelphia Eagles Executive Vice President of Football Operations Howie Roseman and Vice President of Player Personnel Joe Douglas spent some time in-studio with Angelo Cataldi and the rest of the 94WIP Morning Show before heading down to Mobile, Ala. for the Senior Bowl.

And while there was plenty of talk about what's to come for the Birds in free agency, the upcoming NFL Draft and Carson Wentz's development, which will be held in Philadelphia for the first time ever, Roseman jumped at the opportunity to clarify his reasoning behind the decision to trade cornerback Eric Rowe, who had an interception for the Patriots in Sunday night's AFC Championship Game and will be playing for a Super Bowl in two weeks.

"You've got to give me a chance to correct my answer on Eric Rowe from that press conference, because here's what happened," Roseman said, totally unprompted. "Yesterday, my 9-year-old son said, 'Dad, I didn't really understand your answer from that press conference.' So, when the 9-year-old boy doesn't understand the answer, it's probably a problem. I said, 'The reason you don't understand was because it wasn't coherent.' I didn't make any freakin' sense."

The original explanation given by Roseman just over two weeks ago was that the team didn't believe there was a strong "likelihood that we would sign him to an extension." Given that Rowe was playing in just the second year of his rookie deal, and that one of the Eagles' weakest positions was cornerback, it just didn't seem to make sense to deal him for mid-round pick.

On Monday, he was slightly more coherent.

“I think it’s good to just go back to the process,” Roseman said. “So, it’s the first week of the season and we get this offer and it’s the Patriots. And we’re not sitting there thinking, ‘We’re getting one over on Bill Belichick,’ maybe the best evaluator of defensive backs in the history of the NFL.

“What we were thinking about was where he was on our depth chart. And at that time the starting three guys were Nolan [Carroll], Leodis [McKelvin], Ron Brooks. Jalen Mills at that point in camp had beat him out, so he was the fourth guy. And then when we spoke with our coaches, they said that Malcolm [Jenkins] would be the next guy in the slot. So for where we were and for what his role was at the time, we thought it was pretty good value.

“For them to give up that kind of pick — a fourth that could be a third — we knew they had a role for him. We knew that there was going to be an opportunity, and we’ve got to do what we think is best for us.”

Because of some of the other players who were jettisoned in the first offseason of the Howie 2.0 Era in Philly, some (including Cataldi) believe that Rowe -- in addition to guys like Kiko Alonso, Byron Maxwell and DeMarco Murray -- was traded because he was a "Chip Kelly guy."

“That’s false,” Roseman said. “We want good players. I don’t care where they came from. If you [Cataldi] have suggestions for us -- that might be going a little too far -- but, I think for us, when you get a guy like Jordan Hicks and the role he contributes for our football team and what kind of character he has, football character, personal character.

“As many good players as we can get on the Philadelphia Eagles — at the end of the day, we’re responsible for the team and they’re part of our team and it doesn’t matter where they came from.”

So is there still any bitterness between Howie and Chip?

"I mean, we have so much on our plate right now, and we've got to stick to our plan and figure it out," Roseman said. "At this point, we're moving forward."

That's not really an answer.

RELATED: VP of Player Personnel Joe Douglas will set the Eagles' draft board

You can listen to the full interview, here -- and, yes, Douglas actually does talk; it's not all Howie.

Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin