Question of the week: When Howie Roseman ripped the notion of paying a ransom of draft picks for Marcus Mariota was he, A) Speaking for the organization, B) Publicly protesting Chip Kelly’s strategy, or, C) Throwing out a smokescreen?

Speaking at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference last Saturday, Roseman said, “The history of trading up for one player . . . isn’t good for the team trading up and putting a lot of resources into it. The more (draft picks) you get, the better your chances are.” In other words, spending a bushel of picks for Mariota is a foolish gamble

Clearly this isn’t the message NFL people have gleaned from Kelly in recent weeks – even if the Eagles all-powerful coach hasn’t whispered a public word. So I’ll go with option B). I believe Roseman wants his objection on the record so that if it all blows up in Kelly’s face, the deposed GM is exonerated.

One more thing: The projected Mariota-to-Eagles trades rumored last week by Peter King and Pat Kirwan (two normally smart football guys) were laughably one-sided for the Birds. Won’t happen.  Kirwan had LeSean McCoy and two firsts going to Oakland for the fourth overall pick. McCoy has three years and $28 million left on his deal – which makes him untradeable.

Frequent Flyers

Give Flyers GM Ron Hextall a solid “A” for his trade deadline moves. Getting a second-round pick (and maybe more) for 39-year-old Kimmo Timmonen was like finding a $100 bill in an old pair of pants. And getting a first- and third-rounder for underachieving Braydon Coburn was a gift from the gods.

Hextall has achieved the near-impossible, persuading owner Ed Snider to stop trading youth for the short-term fix of over-the-hill veterans. If goalie Steve Mason can stay healthy, the Flyers will be Cup contenders in two years – which, by the way, will be two years earlier (at minimum) than Sam Hinkie’s Sixers.

Inauspicious spring start

Nothing means less than Spring Training results. But losing their opener to the Division II University of Tampa Spartans? That just makes the Phillies look inept. Fans are now searching for any positive sign. Getting rolled, 6-2, by a bunch of boys headed for a kegger? Seeing Phillippe Aumont give up three straight hits to kids who still need parental permission slips to play? I see you now, Phillies fans, shaking your heads in disgust.


Movie: ESPN's “Of Miracles and Men,” which deftly shows the Soviet view of the 1980 Olympic hockey classic.

Book: “Tommy Gun Winter.” Inquirer political editor Nathan Gorenstein looks back at family history and discovers two uncles who were homicidal mobsters.

TV: “Black Mirror,” a British sci-fi anthology series focused on the frightening side of near-future technology. Just be warned – Episode One is not for the squeamish.

Oh, and I’m about to begin my annual WIP Food Hunt, this year looking for the best “bacon creation.”  If you know a place that turns man’s favorite food into a masterpiece, put a message here or find me on Twitter at @Realglenmacnow.