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.
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
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.