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LeSean McCoy Gets Traded To Bills

by Photo of Ankit Ahuja

The swap for Kiko Alonso is the biggest move of the early offseason and shakes things up.

LeSean McCoy Gets Traded To Bills

The football world was taken by storm Tuesday night when the Philadelphia Eagles traded star running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso. I know what you’re thinking: what the hell is Philly doing? Who trades a top-three running back still in his prime? The reality is that Eagles coach Chip Kelly believes his system trumps great talent. Kelly, who took over personnel decisions this offseason, has created over $50 million in cap room with this trade and other moves. Kelly also brings in a young player he has a history with from his days back at Oregon.

This trade seems like a huge win for Buffalo, who is in great need of talent on the offensive side. Without a great quarterback, McCoy is going to be the centerpiece for Bills on offense. It is a good deal for the Bills, but likely for only a couple years. McCoy has seven seasons under his belt, and nowadays, the life of running backs is only getting shorter. Two years ago, McCoy was the best running back in the league, and this past year, which was a down year, he still rushed for over 1,300 yards. There is no question McCoy will make an impact for the Bills and their new run-heavy scheme, and for them that is all that matters.

For the Eagles, we have to look at it a little differently. Kelly believed that we have seen the best of LeSean McCoy. By making this trade, he is selling high on McCoy, and getting a great young linebacker in return. Alonso was terrific in 2013 for the Bills, but suffered a knee injury last summer and missed the entire 2014 season. A big reason the deal was made was for money purposes. While McCoy’s cap hit will be more than $10 million, Alonso’s is under $1 million. Alonso fits a huge need for the Eagles as they have had questions at the linebacker position. If Alonso is healthy, this trade will help immediately, but Kelly has a grander plan.

Kelly has always believed that quarterback and offensive lineman are the most important players on the offensive side of the ball. Without a stable quarterback, Kelly will have to make that his number one priority, whether it is sticking with Nick Foles, or trading up in the draft to get Oregon Heisman winner Marcus Mariota. Now the Eagles also have a need at running back. They only have Darren Sproles, who is a great change of pace guy, and Chris Polk, who lacks experience. Kelly will likely drive into the draft or in free agency to fill that need. This trade definitely leaves question marks for Philly, but do not question Chip Kelly’s plan.      

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