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The Chiefs give us another reason to ease up on the Chip Kelly criticism

I don't want to become the person who is always defending Chip Kelly, but the tampering Chiefs just shed light on another event Kelly was criticized for during his tenure in Philadelphia.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Chip Kelly took a lot of heat in Philadelphia for letting notable players go during his three year tenure as head coach including his final year as combined HC and GM. It could be argued that he saved money with LeSean McCoy's departure and that DeSean Jackson could be a distraction, but the one departure that really raised the blood pressure of Eagles fans was Jeremy Maclin. It now turns out that Andy Reid and the Chiefs may have had an unfair advantage in getting him to sign with the Chiefs through tampering.

Maclin's previous relationship with Reid as well as Missouri being where he spent his youth and college career made his move to the Chiefs understandable. It wasn't a surprise that Maclin himself reported that Reid had personally called him as well as several Chiefs players trying to convince him to join the Chiefs roster. Jeff Parres, Maclin's close friend and one time guardian figure recounted some of the time in question:

As Reid, quarterbacks Alex Smith and Chase Daniel and receivers coach David Culley were calling Maclin that day, "making him feel like he’s the greatest thing on Earth," Maclin could "barely get (Eagles coach and de facto general manager) Chip Kelly to answer the phone....He called Chip Kelly five times Saturday: ‘Chip, can you just show me anything?’ " Parres recalled.

Kyle Scott from added this little tidbit that seems to completely get Kelly off the hook for the Maclin debacle.

This was a tip I got in email last year and never ran, but it seems pretty correct now: "There was a miscommunication and the Eagles actually offered more money than the Chiefs, but someone screwed up the contract and now Maclin doesn’t want to go back on his word because he verbally committed to Reid. Now the Eagles are scrambling and Chip is pissed because he wanted Maclin back all along. That’s all I got. Use it as you please."

At the time, Kelly's explanation to the media was that the Eagles couldn't go as high in salary as the Chiefs, which may have not been the truth. Rather he could have been trying to save face for everyone involved on a very botched free agency negotiation.