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Eagles-Bills trade: Who will win the deal between LeSean McCoy and Kiko Alonso?
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Usually as we navigate through the NFL offseason, draft speak and veteran cap casualty cuts are among the hot issues. Rarely does a big trade go down a few months before the draft, and very seldom do players get traded for each other.
In a shocking development, the Philadelphia Eagles have traded franchise running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso.
Immediate reaction from Philadelphia is one of shock and anger.
As usual, Twitter brings us the best of sadness, joy and anger:
I don't know anything about this Kiko Alonso fella, but I know he'd better be really really really really really really really effing good.
Yes, the trade has seen a whirlwind of reaction, mostly in favor of the Bills side. While most think that though, they couldn't be more wrong.
Everybody thinks Chip Kelly and the Eagles are getting the short end of the stick. I mean why not? LeSean McCoy is one of the top three running backs in our league today. Last season he rushed for 1,319 yards and five touchdowns.
In 2013 he was named first-team All-Pro which is the highest honor in the game, other than the MVP. McCoy went for 1,607 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, while catching 52 balls for 532 yards and adding another two touchdowns through the air.
The man is simply a stud.
Nobody in the league has better vision than the guy they call "Shady." His elusiveness is also top notch. To make things even sweeter for Buffalo is the fact that he's only 26-years old.
Philadelphia though needs to take a page out of the Aaron Rodgers playbook and just simply "re-lax."
While Shady is Shady, he's still a running-back in the toughest, most physically demanding league in the world. Very seldom do running backs ever stay on their game as they approach 30-years old.
Wile McCoy is only 26 in real life, he is a little older than that in actuality.
McCoy has played in six NFL seasons already, coming into the league as a tender 20-year old. The wear and tear of those six-seasons makes his age more around the 28 mark.
He most definitely has one or possibly two stud seasons left in him, but without a quarterback in Buffalo, he's going to struggle. Then, that regular falloff we see oh so often from running backs will occur.
Kelly knows how much value the Eagles received out of the kid and realizes trading him while his value is at its highest would be the brilliant move.
The man that comes into Philly is somebody who's being traded at a much lower value.
Linebacker Kiko Alonso is a guy who put up a tremendous season with the Bills two seasons ago as a rookie. The second-round pick tallied 87 solo tackles, two sacks, four interceptions and five pass deflections.
Last season he tore his ACL during training camp and missed the year.
As long as recovering from the knee injury goes according to plan, and future injuries don't arise, Alonso will be the quarterback of this Eagles defense for the next five to eight seasons.
At 24-years old, he's only getting started.
I'll take my chances on a middle linebacker with an ACL. Sure, they are scary to deal with, but so are running backs who start nearing the 30-year old mark. It's also worth noting that he doesn't play an explosive position like cornerback or wide-out, where an ACL truly does hamper a guy's ability for an entire season.
Yes, Alonso played collegiately at Oregon, where Chip Kelly is so famously from. Kelly recruited and coached Alonso while with the Ducks. The jokes about Kelly bringing so many of his former Ducks into Philly will grow stronger from here.
Humor aside, the Eagles will win this deal in the long run. The running back position is one of the more devalued ones in today's game. Rarely does a back get drafted in the first round. It's become almost a secondary spot where a plug in guy could run behind a strong offensive line, or pass protect for a pass heavy team.
Alonso will play middle linebacker for Philly and never come off the field. Running backs frequently rotate.
With Alonso and Mychal Kendricks, the Eagles now have one of the scariest inside linebacker 3-4 tandems in the entire league. They're both fast, smart and physical.
While the reaction is negative for the Eagles at the current moment, and could be next year as well (should McCoy have a decent season and Alonso fails to get back into the swing of things), Alonso's value will trump McCoy's in a few seasons. This will eventually win over the hearts of Eagles faithful.
Apparently though, there's already some rumors circulating. McCoy is already not happy about heading north.