Philadelphia Eagles: What The McCoy Trade Tells Us About Chip Kelly


Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles made one of the biggest trades in recent history on Tuesday when they sent LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills and in return received linebacker Kiko Alonso.

I’m not going to break down the trade here, there’s already been enough of that. What interests me however is what the trade told me about Chip Kelly’s ability to be the head coach and ‘unofficial’ general manager of the Eagles.

There was concern from myself, and others I’m sure, that Chip may not fully think about the salary cap like a general manager would.

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I also worried that Chip would build up on offense and ignore the defense by signing average free agents and not really aiming to turn the defense into a great one. As well as this, I worried that Chip wouldn’t be thinking long term and would be thinking short term only after having 0 playoff wins in two years, he may have felt pressured to win next year.

This trade changes everything I previously thought. Trading an expensive running back, regardless of talent, shows that Kelly understands the cap management side of things. I am sure if McCoy was making €2m next season, Chip Kelly would want him on his team. This move wasn’t about talent or off the field problems, it was about money. Coaches don’t often think this way but general managers do.

This also proves that Chip wont just ignore the defense. He could have kept DeMeco Ryans and no one would have really complained too much. Putting Kiki Alonso alongside Mychal Kendricks in the Eagles defense gives them one of the best inside linebacker duos in the NFL. A lot of offensive minded coaches wouldn’t want to trade away their best running back for a linebacker.

Lastly, this trade was made to help the Eagles out in the long term. Kiko Alonso was a stud in his rookie year but he hasn’t played for an entire season. It may take a season to get back to where he was before he got injured. There’s no guarantee that Alonso is an instant stud here but he could be a very good player for a number of the years for the Eagles.

LeSean McCoy on the other hand is entering the last year of his prime. I think he’ll have a good season next year because his running style allows him to avoid a lot of hits that some running backs take so I don’t think his decline will start as early as others. However, the odds are that he only has one or two good years ahead of him before he sharply declines.

If Chip was worried about his playoff record and solely thinking about winning next season he wouldn’t have traded McCoy. Will the Eagles running back next season be better than McCoy would have been? Its extremely unlikely because McCoy is still a phenomenal talent.

I think the trade proves that Chip Kelly wants to be the head coach of the Eagles for a long time and build the roster his way. I’m glad that Chip sees this as a long term job and wants to coach here for a long time.

Next: Chip Kelly Doesn't Care What Anyone Thinks

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