The Philadelphia Eagles made a few Birds fans spit up their scrapple and Yuengling on Tuesday by reportedly trading running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso.
McCoy ran 6,792 yards in six seasons in Philadelphia while becoming the franchise’s all-time leading rusher and 2013 NFL rushing champion along the way.
Yet, Philly’s move may prove to be a smart one. McCoy’s numbers tumbled in 2014 in part due to the failing health of his supporting cast including the quarterback and a reshuffled offensive line.
After leading the NFL in rushing a season earlier with 1,607 yards and 11 total touchdowns, McCoy fell firmly back down to earth. His yards per carry fell from 5.1 to 4.2 and his yards per game on the ground dropped from 100.4 to 82.4 yards per contest.
The most damning concern for the Bills could be McCoy’s mileage. Since the start of the 2013 season, McCoy has touched the ball a dizzying 711 times.
McCoy turns 27 years old in July and has over 1700 career touches to his credit. Wisely, the Eagles cut ties with a back who had already given them his best. New Bills head coach Rex Ryan already has a crowded backfield in Buffalo at the moment, which could provide them with a backup plan should McCoy fall flat.
The biggest question becomes what do the Eagles have up their sleeve at running back?
At the moment, Chris Polk and Darren Sproles are their primary running backs. That will not be the pairing on opening day.
It’s either drafting a running back in the first round (which could be omission that the Marcus Mariota trade isn’t going to happen) or getting one in free agency, preferably not named DeMarco Murray.