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With McCoy Gone What Does That Mean For The Eagles?

Eagles star running back, LeSean McCoy, was traded early yesterday evening to the Buffalo Bills.

Elsa/Getty Images

Elsa/Getty Images

 

Eagles star running back, LeSean McCoy, was traded early yesterday evening to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso. In a trade that has many people perplexed, how does this affect the Philadelphia organization? One could say that this was a move that has further stripped an offense that performed very well last season, even in the midst of pro bowl wide receiver Desean Jackson’s departure last offseason.

First off, this solidifies exactly what Rex Ryan wants to do in Buffalo, and that’s run the ball effectively. In LeSean McCoy he’ll be able to accomplish just that, McCoy averaged 5.1 yards per carry over two years ago, and was proclaimed as one of the NFL’s most prominent running backs in the NFL. This season his average dipped to about 4.2, but that was still productive for a Philadelphia Eagles team that had another consecutive 10-6 season.

McCoy was somewhat underused this season in Chip Kelly’s high octane offense, and it seemed like at times Kelly wasn’t the biggest fan of McCoy’s running style. Kelly has always expressed a desire for a running back that runs north to south and nothing else. In McCoy you got more of an east to west type of guy who needs room to maneuver, and that honestly isn’t needed as much in an offense like that.

This trade comes at a time when Philadelphia was setting up for a possible blockbuster move to get Marcus Mariota in the draft this April, you could kind of get a sense that the Eagles were going to make a splash to get Mariota, and worry about everything else later. However it seems like Kelly has his foot on the gas early this offseason with the recent transactions of letting go of Cary Williams, Trent Cole, Todd Herremans, and James Casey.

McCoy was making in excess of $11.95 million making him the second highest paid running back, and with this move it gives the Eagles over $30 million in cap space to sign free agents.

Alonso is by far an under the radar pickup that can possibly make this Eagles defense way more efficient than what it was last year. Alonso didn’t play at all in 2014, but in 2013 he recorded 159 Tackles, 4 INT, and 2.0 Sacks. He finished second in the Associated Press’ voting for defensive rookie of the year. Alonso is a product of the Oregon Ducks, and he played there when Kelly was coach so there is familiarity there.

Alonso has great instincts, and is a real hard worker. He is someone who studies film and applies it to the field with ease, he doesn’t just stand around on the field and look puzzled, and he’s a pretty proactive type of player. Alonso has been placed as the starting inside linebacker alongside Mychal Kendricks, someone who is excellent in coverage and run situations just like Alonso.

Eagles fans will take a wait and see approach when analyzing this trade, but if you ask me the Eagles won this deal because they’re adding to the future, and it happens to be on the side that is so detrimental to the Eagles success, and that’s the defense.

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