In a seemingly innocuous move, the Eagles parted ways with vice president of player personnel Tom Gamble yesterday; though a “parting of ways” is often a soft way to cloak an outright firing, the decision still seemed fairly minor. However, Gamble’s ouster could be a sign of greater turmoil within the Eagles organization, and an indication of strife between head coach Chip Kelly, general manager Howie Roseman, and owner Jeffrey Lurie. As Phil Sheridan of ESPN.com writes, Gamble was a close friend of Kelly’s, so if there is a rift between Kelly and Roseman, Gamble’s firing shows that Lurie could side with the GM rather than the coach.
Even more pressing is the news that Roseman has had talks about becoming the Jets’ general manager, according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Kelly controls the roster in Philadelphia, so it’s plausible that the 39-year-old Roseman is simply interested in a promotion to a role that allows him final say over a 53-man roster. But as Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com writes, it’s also possible that Roseman went to Lurie with a “him-or-me” demand, using any overtures from the Jets as leverage, and had Gamble fired.
Dating back to the Andy Reid-era, the Eagles have run their organization as something of an oligarchy, presenting team decisions as calls made by a small group of people rather than a single executive, writes Sheridan. In prior years, it was a combination of Reid, Roseman, Joe Banner, and Tom Heckert who shared power in Philadelphia — Roseman, of course, is the last man standing among that group. And now that a second power struggle seems to be occurring, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com wonders (via Twitter) if a Jim Harbaugh/Trent Baalke scenario could happen in Philadelphia. The San Francisco duo couldn’t overcome personal struggles despite a largely successful run together in the Bay Area, and it’s fair to wonder if a similar plot could play out with the Eagles.