The new NFL year kicks off next week, but thanks to Chip Kelly, American football fans have a major headline to discuss until then. News out of Philadelphia today saw the Eagles trade LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for outstanding linebacker Kiko Alonso. The fact that the Eagles would move Shady McCoy is startling enough. Seeing it as a one-to-one trade is downright breathtaking.
As the Eagles’ starting running back in 2014, McCoy rushed for 1,319 yards last year, tied for third in the NFL. Alonso, meanwhile, missed the entire season with a torn ACL. The year prior, Alonso’s rookie season, saw the linebacker play every defensive snap and making 159 tackles, third in the NFL.
Alonso had a breakout rookie year, but he’s an athletic linebacker coming off a season-wiping ACL tear. McCoy, on the other hand, has proven his value to the Eagles for five years. Since being drafted in 2009, McCoy has rushed for 6,792 yards, third in the NFL, and had 44 rushing touchdowns, fourth in the league.
However, McCoy also brought with him a high price tag next season. Had the Eagles not traded McCoy, the star running back would’ve eaten $11.95 million of their 2015 salary cap. Instead, $10.25 million of that will now be the Buffalo Bills’ problem.
Alonso will consume less than $1 million of the Eagles’ salary cap in each of the next two seasons.
But seeing the Eagles trade LeSean McCoy wasn’t the only move Philly made Tuesday. The Eagles also released defensive end Trent Cole and cornerback Cary Williams, who together would have counted for $19.795 million against the salary cap.
Could the Philadelphia Eagles be clearing cap space for some wheeling and dealing in the NFL Draft? Perhaps. Sources have said for weeks now that Eagles coach and GM Chip Kelly would love to get University of Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, whom Kelly recruited at Oregon before leaving for the NFL.
Interestingly, Alonso is also a former Oregon Duck and was a key member of Kelly’s defense at the University of Oregon. With today’s LeSean McCoy trade, the Eagles will have nine former Oregon Ducks on their roster.