Eagles’ LeSean McCoy Traded To Buffalo For Kiko Alonso
In probably the single craziest offseason trade thus far — lets be honest, nothing is going to be as shocking as this — LeSean McCoy is being traded to Buffalo for linebacker Kiko Alonso. While many claim the deal is done, it will not become official until March 10. Still no one saw this coming with even the NFL guru Adam Schefter being stumped by these events.
So LeSean McCoy is going to be a Buffalo Bill. And Kiko Alonso will be reunited with former Oregon HC Chip Kelly.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 3, 2015
So what exactly happened: why was Chip Kelly willing to get rid of one of the best backs in the league? Some would say McCoy’s 2014 stats dipped, yet he still averaged 4.2 YPC, garnered 1,319 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns. For all intents and purposes, his 2014 campaign started off slow, but he is only 26 years old — his best days are still in front of him — it is still very possible he could top his 1,607-yard season.
Chip Kelly, who has a more active role in creating his team, clearly has a vision and McCoy is not a part of that: but while many look at how seemingly lopsided the trade looked in the Bills favor, McCoy is one of three guys the Eagles wanted to get rid of due to cap reasons. They saved $11.95 million by trading LeSean, another $11.625 million by cutting DE Trent Cole and $8.17 million by cutting CB Cary Williams — these players were three of the four biggest cap hits on the Eagles’ 2015 campaign.
On top of this, Kiko Alonso returns to a system he is familiar with, as he previously played for Kelly in Oregon: though he just came off an ACL tear, the 2013 second round draft pick provides some young talent to the ailing Philadelphia linebacking core. At the same time, this would also be the ninth player to currently play for Kelly who previously played for him at the college level. In other words, Kelly has a distinct vision and is willing to live or die by that.
And meanwhile, in the Philadelphia Inquirer…. pic.twitter.com/HDGfufOFm0
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 4, 2015
So let’s review all of this information. The Bills willingness to eat McCoy’s salary did two things for the former Oregon coach. It gave him plenty of cap room to play around with — furthering his intended vision — and finally provided some talent to the Eagles’ LB core and overall defense — ACL tear or not, Kiko is the best linebacker on the team.
As for the Buffalo Bills, Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Greg Roman are going to use a run first offense. However, they obviously did not see this happening under Fred Jackson and the injury prone free agent C.J. Spiller. Still, Spiller was a bit surprised from the trade: up until a few days ago, they were still actively attempting to re-sign him — showing the last minute nature of this Alonso-McCoy deal.
— Rob Tornoe (@RobTornoe) March 4, 2015
C.J. told ESPN, “Management called me and told me that they were [trading for McCoy] and pretty much giving me a ‘thank you for your service.’ I feel still the same. Nothing’s changed. The game plan is still the same. The only thing is that I won’t be returning to Buffalo.” And they obviously will not miss Kiko Alonso: despite him being sidelined last year, the Bills ranked fourth in overall defense.
As for McCoy, he is not pleased with the move. An ESPN source said, “He’s a Pennsylvania kid. He’s never played football outside of Pennsylvania — high school, college, pro. So of course he’s not happy… [LeSean is] not going to make it easy, that’s for sure.”
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