Trying to discern the higher calculus of Chip Kelly, one is left lunging for a shred of sanity like a hunting dog devoid of nostrils.
Whatever you make of what Kelly has wrought so far this offseason, you have to admire him doing it with the swagger of John Wayne loping into a saloon.
Since Kelly is more closed mouth than an Egyptian mummy, we can only speculate about his game plan.
I think he shed salary — James Casey, Todd Herremans, Trent Cole, LeSean McCoy — to swell a huge cache of salary cap space so he can fill holes with free agents with the ultimate intent of trying to transform a truckload of draft picks into Marcus Mariota.
If this indeed is Kelly’s MO, he’s spitting into the face of conventional wisdom: Successful teams don’t build through free agency. They build through the draft and then pick and choose free agents at fair market value.
So the Birds have added Byron Maxwell, the top corner on the market; Frank Gore, a percussive north-south running back with God knows how much tread left on his tires; and Kiko Alonso, another Oregon product who was a stud linebacker two years ago.
Just how good will Maxwell be playing outside the cocoon of Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Channcelor in Seattle? And is Maxwell worth a staggering $63 million over six years?
Gore has exhibited little dropoff yet, but the history of running backs 32 and older is uglier than a carbuncle.
Alonso has missed two of the last five years with knee injuries, and the price was extreme — McCoy.
Did Kelly’s ego lock his common sense in the linen closet?
Of course, Kelly still has to fill in the remaining pieces of this puzzling puzzle.
Like just who the hell will be his quarterback?
If the Eagles covet Mariota so lustfully, why were they reportedly in talks with the 49ers about a trade for Colin Kaepernick?
And what’s up with giving Mark Sanchez, who dishes out more turnovers than a corner bakery, a deal of two years for $9 million with $5.5 million guaranteed and ceiling of $16 million?
Will they keep Nick Foles or deal him as a pawn in the Mariota sweepstakes?
Whatever the dénouement of all this personnel wizardry, you can’t deny it’s a thrill ride to rival anything Hersheypark has to offer.
You just pray that all this wheeling and dealing ultimately won’t cause jammed suicide prevention lines.