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Chip Kelly wants to keep Eagles' draft picks

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly walks on

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly walks on the field during a joint workout with the New England Patriots at training camp in Philadelphia. (Aug. 7, 2013) Credit: AP

PHOENIX - Tim Tebow had his first workout for an NFL team in nearly two years when he got a look-see from the Eagles last week. But coach Chip Kelly didn't sign Tebow and gave no indication on Wednesday whether he will or not.

"I don't know," Kelly said on Wednesday at an NFC coaches' breakfast during the NFL's annual spring meetings. "We bring a lot of people in for private workouts."

Tebow, a former Heisman Trophy winner who was Denver's first-round pick in 2010, hasn't played since being released by the Patriots on the final preseason cutdown in 2013. Tebow, who won a playoff game for the Broncos in the 2011 postseason, was traded to the Jets before the 2012 season. After playing sparingly for New York, he was released the following offseason and hasn't played a regular season game since.

"It's getting an exposure to a player so that when you have to make a decision and say 'Hey, what are we going to do now? You say, I don't know anything about these players. Let's bring them in and work them out, and it may be too late at that point in time,'" Kelly said on NFL Network on Monday. "So all we're doing is just doing our homework."

Kelly's big quarterback news in the offseason was his stunning trade of Nick Foles for Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, who continues to rehab from a torn ACL.

"I know he's running and moving around right now," said Kelly, who expects to have Bradford ready for the start of training camp.

Kelly also continued to downplay a scenario where he would make a dramatic trade up from No. 20 overall to get Marcus Mariota, the quarterback he recruited to Oregon.

"Philosophically, I want to keep all the draft picks," Kelly said. "I think you build your team through the draft. So if you gut yourself for one year and one guy, philosophically, I don't think that's the right thing to do."

Kelly pulled off a stunning trade of Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy to the Bills in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso, and then replaced McCoy with free agents DeMarco Murray of the Cowboys and Ryan Matthews of the Chargers.

"We had always planned on taking two running backs," said Kelly, who plans to divide up the workload so he can keep Murray and Matthews fresh.

Kelly still needs help at wide receiver, and if he'd had control of the draft last year the way he does now, he might have had Odell Beckham Jr. on his team instead of on the Giants. Beckham blossomed into a star once he overcame hamstring problems early in the season.

"I said it a year ago. I thought Odell Beckham was the best player in the draft. I was right," Kelly said. "We didn't have a chance to get Odell Beckham, but a lot of it depends on where you're selecting."

Perhaps Kelly could have pulled off a trade to get ahead of the Giants?

"I didn't have final say so, I mean, you always defer to who's in charge," Kelly said, referring to Howie Roseman, whose role in personnel has decreased in a new power structure approved by team owner Jeff Lurie.


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