Tom Gamble, Eagles 'part ways'

ByPhil Sheridan ESPN logo
Wednesday, December 31, 2014

PHILADELPHIA -- The Eagles released Tom Gamble, their vice president of player personnel, on Wednesday.

The move adds weight to speculation that coach Chip Kelly and general manager Howie Roseman have not seen eye to eye over the last year. Kelly was close enough to Gamble that he made an impromptu trip with him to attend a Navy football game during the Eagles' bye week.

According to a source with knowledge of the Eagles' inner workings, there is a divide among the team's football people. Some are loyal to Kelly and others side with Roseman. The source said Gamble's ouster was a sign that Eagles owner Jeff Lurie was siding with Roseman.

The Eagles announced Wednesday that the team and Gamble "agreed to part ways," though sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen that Gamble was fired.

"We thank Tom for his service over the past two seasons and with him and family the best as they move forward," Roseman said in a news release. "I appreciate all Tom has done for our scouting department and our team."

On Monday, Kelly was asked about the possibility that Gamble, who interviewed for personnel jobs in Tampa Bay and Miami last year, would leave the Eagles.

"I think Tom does an outstanding job and if he has the opportunity to do that, then I would support him in anything," Kelly said. "And if I can give him any help in that situation I would. But he's a heck of a football guy."

Lurie was asked Sunday about the perception that Kelly and Roseman were not exactly on the same page.

"I see two really valued executives, Chip and Howie," Lurie said. "Add [team president] Don Smolenski to that. These are three obsessed-to-being-good executives. They have different roles. They cross over at different points. But I think you know me. I like to surround myself with -- not yes-men, but strong, opinionated people that are really dedicated to making us really good. That's what those three do. I couldn't be more proud of all three."

Any divide among the team's football people would shed light on the personnel decisions of the past two offseasons. The Eagles' 2014 draft class, topped by first-round pick Marcus Smith from Louisville, was not exactly a strong one. Only wide receiver Jordan Matthews, a second-round pick, made a significant impact.

In free agency, the Eagles came up with quarterbackMark Sanchez,safety Malcolm Jenkins, cornerbackNolan Carrolland key special teams players such asChris Maragos and Bryan Braman. The previous year's free-agent haul included linebacker Connor Barwin, who was selected to the Pro Bowl, and cornerbacks Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams.

Kelly has explained his role in personnel decisions by pointing out that he has final say on the 53-man roster. But it is less clear how decisions are made in evaluating and acquiring players.

Roseman hired Gamble away from the San Francisco 49ers in 2013 to bolster his personnel department. For Gamble, the move was partly inspired by the failing health of his father, Harry Gamble, who lived in New Jersey and was a former GM and president of the Eagles. He died in January.

Rick Mueller, Roseman's director of player personnel, is expected to interview with the New York Jets for their vacant general manager job.

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