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- The Philadelphia Eagles are trading star running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Philadelphia Eagles are trading star running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Philadelphia Eagles are trading running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter first broke the news on Twitter on Tuesday, March 3:
Filed to ESPN: Bills have notified LB Kiko Alonso he is going to be traded to Philadelphia for RB LeSean McCoy. Trade official next week.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 3, 2015
According to an ESPN update, the trade cannot be formalized until the beginning of the NFL’s new league year on March 10 at 4 p.m. ET.
Alonso missed the entire 2014 NFL season due to a torn ACL. However, a league source told ESPN’s Adam Caplan that Alonso’s rehab has gone smoothly — his training activities have intensified and he has also begun running.
Alonso joining the Eagles will be a reunion with his college head football coach with the Oregon Ducks, Chip Kelly. The Philadelphia head coach is in his third year at the helm, per ESPN.
The Eagles’ latest move is one of several they made on Tuesday. They also released linebacker Trent Cole and cornerback Cary Williams. Including the trade for Alonso, Philly just freed up $31.75 million in salary-cap space, per ESPN.
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane reported that the media tried to approach Kelly for comment after he spoke at a fundraiser in Cherry Hills, N.J. on Tuesday. However, Eagles vice president of team security Dom DiSanrdo kept the reporters at bay.
The 26-year-old McCoy did not have a conversation with Kelly prior to the mega deal with the Bills, per McLane. When news of his trade broke out, he was in Miami. He found about it through his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, who confirmed to The Philadelphia Inquirer that the Eagles have yet to discuss the trade with McCoy.
McCoy has a salary-cap hit of $12 million for 2015. He previously said he’s willing to have his deal restructured, although he is not taking a pay cut, per McLane.
McCoy is due $10.5 million, $6.9 million and $7.6 million over the next three seasons while Alonso is due $746,000 and $942,000 in the last two years of the rookie deal he signed with Buffalo in 2013. By the time free-agency period begins, Philadelphia could have over $50 million in cap space, per McLane.
WOW (via @MikeSilver): http://t.co/ghZpOxx1DP pic.twitter.com/ZnvTIEtad9— NFL (@nfl) March 3, 2015
The Philadelphia Inquirer update stresses Kelly, who will have full control the Eagles’ football operations in 2015, has been releasing high-profile Philadelphia players since he became head coach two years ago. Among them are wide receiver DeSean Jackson, offensive lineman Todd Herremans, linebacker Trent Cole and now McCoy.
Prior to McCoy’s trade to Buffalo, McLane says there were rumors swirling that Kelly would bring another Oregon product, 2014 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota, to Philadelphia for the prized running back. It turns out the Eagles shored up their defense in exchange for McCoy instead.
McCoy’s role with the Eagles diminished last season. Darren Sproles became more involved in the passing game while Chris Polk took on a heavier load during short-yardage situations, per NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport (via Wesseling) stresses McCoy told his friends he had his share of disagreements with Kelly in terms of practice methods and scheduling. McCoy also told NFL Media analyst and retired San Diego Chargers running back LaDanian Tomlinson several weeks ago that his relationship with Kelly has deteriorated to the point his future with the team became an uncertainty.
McCoy will split the carries with Fred Jackson for the Bills in 2015, per Wesseling. The trade for the former will eventually result in Buffalo releasing C.J. Spiller. The NFL.com update mentions the possibility of the Eagles trying to lure Spiller to Philadelphia with the New York Jets as another possible destination.
McCoy had previously spent his entire six-year career with the Eagles. He amassed 1,319 yards on the ground and five touchdowns in 2014 for Philadelphia, per ESPN.
On the other hand, Alonso played every game during his rookie year in 2013 with the Bills. The ESPN update notes he wound up third in the NFL with his 159 tackles that season.
He would fortify an Eagles defense that already features the likes of linebackers Preston Brown and Nigel Bradham. Philadelphia defensive coordinator Bill Davis and Co. might ultimately switch to a 3-4 defensive scheme where Alonso would thrive, per NFL.com.
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