The big news out of the NFL on Tuesday was the trade that was set in place between the Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills. Philadelphia will send running back LeSean McCoy to Buffalo for linebacker Kiko Alonso. The trade cannot be made official until the 2015 NFL season officially starts next Tuesday.
McCoy, who is one of the premier running backs in the NFL today, have never played his home football outside of his home state of Pennsylvania. He will now be the featured back for the Bills, who will look to ground and pound the football under new head coach Rex Ryan, formerly the New York Jets head coach. McCoy has been a dominant factor for the Eagles since entering the league in 2009. He was third in rushing a season ago with 1,319 yards.
Alonso, who will be entering his third year in the league will rejoin head coach Chip Kelly, who was Alonso’s coach at the University of Oregon. Alonso made a big impact for the Bills in his rookie season in 2013, but suffered a torn ACL prior to the 2014 season. He made 159 tackles in his rookie season, which ranked third in the NFL.
The good and bad for both teams
Good: Philadelphia cleared up $11.95 million in cap space by trading McCoy. Add this to nearly $20 million more in cap space due to releases (defensive end Trent Cole and cornerback Cary Williams) and this sets up a big-spending free agency. The Eagles can now address a plethora of options in free agency, including looking for a replacement for McCoy as the running back free agent class has a lot to offer.
Bad: The Eagles lost one of the top five running backs in the league today. Replacing the production of Shady will be no easy task.
Good: Buffalo gets a top running back in the league and that will be crucial as Rex Ryan loves to run the football. McCoy is already a nightmare matchup for opposing defenses around the league, but now he is a major problem for the rest of the AFC East. Also, the Bills essentially got McCoy for a steal in trading Alonso.
Bad: Nothing. Yes, the production of Alonso’s first year is hard to let go of, especially with Ryan now at the helm, but players coming off ACL tears aren’t necessarily the same player as they were before the injury.
This trade has a lot of people scratching their heads, but in the end, both teams win. The Eagles get a ton of cap space to spend on free agents, while the Bills get an elite running back.