Eagles to Trade McCoy to Bills for Alonso

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Philadelphia Eagles, who seem to be in the midst of a firesale, have agreed to trade star running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso.

This move is a major win for the Eagles. McCoy was set to count against the Eagles cap at $11.95 million while earning a $10.25 million salary. Neither number should ever occur for a running back in today’s NFL and it is possible that McCoy would have been released had he refused a pay cut. If the Eagles had released him they would have owed McCoy $1 million, the amount of his salary that was guaranteed for the year. Instead they get a young linebacker in return who will earn $795,946 for the season. This will clear about $7.75 million from the Eagles salary cap this season.

For the Bills they will now take on $10.25 million in cap and cash obligations for McCoy, essentially eating up 1/3 of their projected cap room. One would expect the Bills to immediately rework his contract for more cap relief. McCoy has three years remaining on his contract. He will earn a total of $15 million in the final two years of his contract, though none of that is guaranteed. I would expect the team to add two more seasons to the deal to maximize the cap savings.

It is a large price to pay for a running back especially one who struggled at times in two of the last three seasons when his offensive line played poorly. The Bills offensive line is a trouble spot for the team and they will need to upgrade significantly to make this work. The Bills declined usin the franchise tag on pass rusher Jerry Hughes, which may have been an indication that the money was needed for the offense. The team already signed Richie Incognito to play guard, but arguably need three more lineman to allow the running game to excel.

The move will likely mark the end of CJ Spillers career with the Bills and could spell the end of veteran Fred Jackson’s. Releasing Jackson would save the team $2.7M in cap room. Spiller is a free agent.

No trade can be made official until the first day of the NFL League Year so its possible that the trade could never happen if someone gets cold feet, but it sure sounds like it will happen.  The Eagles will have well over $40 million in cap space to use to improve the team and should be expected to be a big player in free agency.

  • McGeorge

    The Bills GM (Doug Whaley) is awful.

    #1 pick for EJ Manuel
    Two #1 picks for Sammy Watkins
    now this.

    He’s as bad as John Idzik.

    Great for the Jets though!

  • Jeff in Chicago

    trade a guy working on legend status in only his 2nd year on the field in Kiko for a guy with 6 years of beat down on him and maybe 2 more years of producing like he’s being paid in McCoy. someone should let Whaley know that it’s tough to “ground and pound” when you’re an east/west runner and you have an o-line like Buffalo’s.

  • Derek Lamarr

    lol Bills

  • jon

    what an amazing trade:

    Eagles get:
    – Pro bowl caliber linebacker in Kiko
    – 12 million in cap space (from mccoy)
    – 7 million in cap space (no longer need demeco ryans)

    Buffalo gets
    – Soon to be 27 yeah old rb that specializes in dancing around in the backfield, and not running north south…

    There is a reason why some teams are always at the bottom….

    • VJ

      Eagles get $7.5mm cap space not $12mm; they lose $3.5mm in prorated bonus. 27 isn’t old, even for a RB. Kiko has had 2 ACL surgeries in 4 seasons, and while good he wasn’t a “pro bowl caliber” LB his rookie year. He’s not actually great in run D, he’s smaller for a ILB and isn’t great at shedding blockers. He’s better than the Bills other LBs in coverage.

      Bills were also 9-7 last season and not at the bottom. I’m a Pats fan and don’t like the Bills but everything you said is wrong/echoing other wrong statements.

      • McGeorge

        They were 9-7 with a so-so QB Kyle Orton. Let’s see them do that again with EJ Manuel instead.

        • buk

          The leverage is the trade is not final and if he does not come to terms with Bills the trade could fall apart. If that happens the Eagles will surely cut him and the Bills can go after a Demarco Murray if they want a top caiber back without having to give up Alonso. McCoy wants to stay in PA but it won’t be with Eagles or Steelers. Many teams would love to have him in FA but few would be willing to pay him what he wants. Raiders and Jaguars are far from good teams. McCoy to Jets as a free agent is very interesting and would be a better fit at high salary than Harvin imo. Eagles have shown their hand, they just don’t want to pay him and if they cut him with no compensation like they did Jackson last year they should get killed for it.

          • McGeorge

            buk, McCoy has the leverage, not the Eagles. So there is no reason for him to restructure. Unless what the Bills offer him is better than what he’d get as a FA.

  • buk

    Assuming the Bills rework the McCoy contract before deal is finalized by May 10th I think it could be a win win for both teams. McCoy, Peterson, Lynch, Bell, Charles and Murray are what I consider elite backs worth a premium. Because of McCoy’s ability to make plays in space and catch the ball defenses must gameplan for him which means he is a threat 1st,2nd and 3rd down. I think willingness to trade Kiko says more about the Bills depth at LB and not anything negative about Alonso. My guess Alonso’s playing time would have been limited.
    As a Jet fan I can’t disagree with the Bills approach. Unlike Idzik, the Bills are putting together a team to challenge the Patriots first before thinking about a Superbowl. The Pats can be run on and McCoy is an upgrade from Spiller. My guess is they will lock up Hughes and maintain a defensive front that will go after Brady. I believe the hiring of Rex and signing McCoy will make a few veteran free agents look more closely at joining a Bills team that won 9 games last year.

    • McGeorge

      Why would McCoy agree to rework the contract?
      What leverage do they have?

      1 – bad team (no more Kyle Orton, back to EJ Manuel)
      2 – Buffalo is probably not the place McCoy wants to be
      3 – Buffalo just traded for him.

      • buk

        McCoy’s contract is not guaranteed in 2016 and 2017 in a depressed running back market. If he has another down year or blows out a knee he’ll be cut and won’t see a dime. If he has a pretty good year he’ll be cut and forced to test the free agency market. Right now he will play for a coach that wants to run the ball and an OC who got most out of Frank Gore. If McCoy is smart his agent will try to work out a new 4yr deal with significant guaranteed money if he lowers his salary after this year.
        If McCoy does not want to negotiate then the Bills cut McCoy and move on from Fred Jackson next year and open up 12 million in cap space. Bills would lose Alonso for 1yr of McCoy but I think a good risk for Bills and Eagles. Eagles could have Alonso and sign a Randall Cobb or Harvin for same money they paid would have paid McCoy this year.

        • McGeorge

          In order for McCoy to agree, the Bills have to pay him more than he’s get paid as a FA. Or throw in some guaranteed money.

  • Jim

    Living in western NY, I can say that releasing Fred Jackson, would be a highly unpopular move, there is extremely high regard for him in the fanbase, and I don’t think the Bills front office would mess with that for a mere $2.7m. It would be one thing if he was a waste of a player, but he’s pretty valuable in the passing game, as good as it gets at RB for pass protection, can catch out of the backfield and did what he could running behind the leagues worst offensive line. Spiller is definitely gone, but I would be totally shocked if they let go of Jackson.