There is a reported deal in place for the Eagles to trade LeSean McCoy for Bills LB and former Oregon Duck Kiko Alonso. The trade cannot take become official until the new league year begins on March 10th at 4pm EST.
Obviously, this news comes as a shock to most people. I did anticipate the Eagles trading McCoy as described in my mock draft a little while back, but I had him being traded for a draft pick that was ultimately used to move up for Marcus Mariota in the draft.
In any case, McCoy appears to be on his way out of town. How do you feel about that? Pissed? Shocked? Disappointed? Indifferent? Excited to get a Linebacker?
Or are you overwhelmed with a “what the hell is Chip doing?!?!” emotion?
After having a little time to digest it, I think this is a good trade for the Eagles…as long as Alonso is fully recovered from his ACL tear that occurred in July of 2014. But therein lies the concern…Alonso’s injury history.
In 2010, he tore the ACL in his right knee. Then tore his ACL in his left knee last summer. Also, just prior to his last ACL tear, he had surgery on his hip to repair what was reported to be a torn labrum.
That’s three significant injuries in the past five seasons.
Can he stay healthy? That’s the million dollar question. For what it’s worth, he claims he will be 100% full-go by camp.
Alonso had a stellar rookie year in 2013 where he recorded 159 tackles (wow!), two sacks, one forced fumble and four INTs. He graded out as Pro Football Focus’ ninth-best ILB in 2013.
If he returns to his pre-injury form and can stay healthy, he and Kendricks should make for an exceptional ILB tandem for years to come. Speaking of that, some folks wonder if Kiko will play inside or outside…he will almost certainly play inside next to Kendricks.
He played inside at Oregon and at middle linebacker in Buffalo. The Bills were going to move him to the outside last year before he was hurt, but remember that would have been as a 4-3 weak-side ‘backer.
I love LeSean McCoy and absolutely enjoyed watching him play in Philly. However, the fact of the matter is that his on-field production can be replaced relatively easily. In each of the past three seasons there have been no fewer than 13 running backs who gained over a thousand yards (with several different players from year to year).
These days, running backs appear to be more “dime a dozen” than ever. I’ll stop short of calling them “plug and play”, but to think Shady’s numbers couldn’t be duplicated without much problem in Chip’s offense, you’d be a little naive.
The Eagles will find a running back who is better suited for Chip’s offense. Apparently, McCoy was a little too much “east-west” and Chip likes his RBs to be more “north-south.”
In any case, Chip is making his mark. He’s making this “his team” and he’ll live or die with the results. This trade is him basically saying that he’s willing to sacrifice a good offensive player to upgrade the defense.
And that’s the main goal this offseason right? To repair the defense? Well, so far his moves have indicated that is his certainly his intention.
If you want to get fired up about Alonso, here are some highlights. The first are from his rookie season in Buffalo, the others are his college highlights…
Kiko’s “road to recovery” (from his ACL injury)