BOCA RATON, Fla. —Chip Kelly denied a report he offered a huge package of picks/players to try and get quarterback Marcus Mariota in last year's NFL Draft.
That doesn't mean Kelly didn't want him, or doesn't like him.
"I think he is outstanding,'' Kelly said of Mariota. "I love him. I mean, I coached him, and I've been around him and know how he is wired. I think he is going to do an unbelievable job in Tennessee. I know Mike (Mularkey) is excited about him."
Kelly, head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, made his comments here on Wednesday morning from the NFL owners meetings. While coach with the Philadelphia Eagles last year, Kelly reportedly was willing to trade the farm to get Mariota, his college quarterback at Oregon.
According to Fox Sports' Peter Schrager, the Eagles offered the Titans a 2015 first-round pick, a 2015 second-round pick, a 2016 first-round pick, they said 'take any of our quarterbacks' … and 'anyone on our defense" in exchange for the No.2 pick.
The Titans, of course, took Mariota second overall.
Kelly, however, said a trade offer was never made to the Titans, or the Buccaneers, who had the first overall pick in last year's draft. Kelly said Eagles vice president of player personnel Ed Marynowitz talked to general manager Jason Licht (Buccaneers) and former Titans general manager Ruston Webster leading up to the draft.
TitansOnline.com looks back at the 2015 rookie season of Titans QB Marcus Mariota. (AP Photos)
"It was never my plan to ransom everything for one player,'' Kelly said. "To make that jump, the one metric you always had was what did (the Redskins) give up to go from No.6 to No.2 (to get Robert Griffin III in the 2012 draft)? And now you are talking about us going from No.20 to 2. If you are on the other side and say, 'OK, this is what (the Redskins) gave up couple of years ago, for you to make that jump it is going to take this...
"Tennessee never was trading, and Tampa Bay was never trading. I know Ed talked to both Ruston and Jason and they were not moving off their picks. So there was no offer made."
Mariota broke rookie records for most touchdowns (19), completions (230), passing yards (2,818) and passing attempts (370) in his first NFL season.