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Bills, McCoy Reportedly Discussing Contract Extension
Saturday, March 7
Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports reported that the Bills and McCoy are discussing a contract extension. Garafolo also noted that this should silence concerns that McCoy wasn't happy about going to Buffalo.
Ryan Wanted to Move Alonso Immediately
Wednesday, March 4
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that Bills coach Rex Ryan was looking to trade Alonso right away after becoming head coach of the Bills:
Interested to learn trading #Bills LB Kiko Alonso was one of the first things Rex Ryan wanted to do when hired. Perhaps not a scheme fit— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 5, 2015
Fred Jackson: McCoy is Tremendous, but 'I Won't Hand Him Anything'
Wednesday, March 4
Jackson joined Team Stream Now host Adam Lefkoe to discuss the Bills' addition of McCoy:
Bills Will Look to Restructure McCoy's Contract
Wednesday, March 4
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (h/t NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal) said Buffalo will revise McCoy's contract. A source said the team will "take very good care of him."
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported on how the Bills would use McCoy's remaining $3.4 million in signing bonus allocation as leverage if he refuses to report to the franchise.
McCoy Reportedly Traded for Alonso
Tuesday, March 3
Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the Philadelphia Eagles will send McCoy to the Bills in exchange for 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
Michael Silver of the NFL Network spoke with a source who gave an idea of how quickly the trade came together:
One Bills source: 'Holy s---, this went down in 20 minutes...'— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) March 4, 2015
NFL.com's Marc Sessler noticed an eerie parallel between Tuesday's news and another notable trade in recent history:
Huge Alonso-McCoy trade goes down 11 years to the day after Redskins swapped Champ Bailey to the Broncos for Clinton Portis.— Marc Sessler (@MarcSesslerNFL) March 3, 2015
ESPN's Josina Anderson provided a brief quote from a source close to McCoy on his feelings about today's news:
Honestly, he's frustrated...It's alright. It's the league. I told him that. I guess he just never experienced that, but he was like 'why me.'"
The source said he thinks McCoy is "not going to make it easy, that's for sure."
Eagles coach Chip Kelly is in charge of all personnel moves, and dealing such an electric playmaker is quite a maiden foray into the trade market.
Bleacher Report's Jason Cole reported on how the move could impact the Eagles' hopes in the free-agent market this offseason:
The MMQB's Peter King and La Canfora added some insight to explain Kelly's rationale:
Hearing Chip felt McCoy was too east-west of a runner for his taste. But that’s an incredible deal—esp for Alonso, coming off knee surgery.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) March 3, 2015
Chip Kelly not a fan of McCoy's contract - one of highest in NFL for a RB - and Eagles part w/huge offensive cog for 2nd straight offseason— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 3, 2015
In analyzing the deal, ESPN's Trey Wingo alluded to the diminishing value of running backs:
So one of the best RBs in football was just traded for a LB that missed all of last season with injury. What does that tell you about RBs??— trey wingo (@wingoz) March 3, 2015
Andrew Brandt of Sports Illustrated broke down the financial implications regarding both players:
Updated: Kiko Alonso has 2 years left on contract at $746,000 and $942,000. LeSean McCoy has 3 years left at $10.25M, $6.9M and $7.6M.— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) March 4, 2015
Alonso was out for the entire 2014 season because of a torn ACL, but he played extremely well as a rookie in Buffalo. Kelly coached Alonso in college at Oregon, so the reunion makes sense in light of how much Philadelphia needs to improve on the defensive side of the ball.
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports hinted at Kelly's penchant for adding former Oregon players since his arrival in the NFL:
Donald, the only Duck Chip Kelly hasn't acquired.— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) March 3, 2015
NFL.com's Chris Trapasso suggested that Alonso was a bit overrated toward the end of 2013, but Bleacher Report's Matt Miller advocated for Alonso's massive upside:
Kiko's reputation as a rookie outweighed his true impact on the field after September but would have been fun to watch him play with Rex.— Chris Trapasso (@ChrisTrapasso) March 3, 2015
Kiko has potential to be one of the best linebackers when healthy. We saw that in rookie season. Kiko + Kendricks is very good ILB crew— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) March 3, 2015
It's no secret that new Bills head coach Rex Ryan loves to run the football, and Ryan couldn't ask for a much better back than McCoy to take the lead role. Impending free agent C.J. Spiller said on NFL Network that he has been informed he will not be returning to the Bills next season. Turner Sports' Rachel Nichols provided more details from Spiller's interview:
This trade will have a profound impact on both franchises involved.
Controversy isn't something Kelly has shied away from, but it's bold—even if it may be cost-effective—to take a flier on a former player of his coming off such a serious injury while giving up one of the most explosive playmakers in the league.