You read the title right, the Philadelphia Eagles have officially made a deal that will end LeSean McCoy’s tenure of carrying the ball in Midnight Green after six seasons.
LeSean McCoy was every bit an elite back during those six seasons. He tallied over 9,000 yards, combining what he was able to do when he was handed the ball or had to catch the ball out of the backfield, along with 54 touchdowns.
What came of this though? Was Shady on the decline? Let’s dig into this.
So here are LeSean’s stats from the 2014 NFL Season: In 16 games, he produced 5 rushing touchdowns along with 1,319 yards on the ground on 312 carries (4.2 average). While on the receiving game, just 28 catches for 155 yards without reaching the endzone once.
Looking at those stats you may attribute a decline to the addition of Darren Sproles, especially the passing game numbers. While McCoy’s numbers decreased from 52 catches to 28, Sproles caught 40 passes last year. LeSean’s numbers also decreased in the running game, nearly 300 ground yards and 4 touchdowns, all while carrying the ball just two less times than the year prior (314 to 312).
Shady McCoy is a great running back, nonetheless. He finished with the third most rushing yards last year, behind Murray and Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell, as well as following both of those players in gaining first downs on the ground, McCoy having 67 as to Bell’s 73 and Murray’s 85.
So after hearing all of this, why trade LeSean McCoy?
There is a sign of decline in his step. Averaging nearly a yard less per carry is nothing to joke about in the NFL, despite still being able to be more productive than 90% of the backs around the league. Shady’s relationship with head coach Chip Kelly was described to be getting more rough and damaged as the season went along, which also factors into this decision. I personally don’t know how you let this man go.
So let’s finally talk about what they gave LeSean McCoy up for, and you’re free to look up through the article, I didn’t mention it once and gave LeSean McCoy the respect he deserves. It’s been a stressful six years watching McCoy do his amazing work on the football field against the Dallas Cowboys.
In return for LeSean McCoy, the Philadelphia Eagles received linebacker Kiko Alonso.
Alonso tore his ACL in the offseason, much like Sean Lee, and missed the entire 2014 season while each respective defense of the Bills and Cowboys exceeded expectations in the process. I bring Lee up because he’s a good example of a linebacker with an injury history who never seems effected by his past when he’s on the field, as he still performs as one of the best in the business. Brian Cushing too. So if Alonso’s tenure with the Eagles happens to be haunted by injuries, the Eagles would look back at it as a good gamble.
They key part of this whole equation is that Kiko Alonso is a former Oregon Duck, and we all know where Chip Kelly came from. Kelly was given permission to oversee the personnel department for the Eagles, and is per se, the General Manager. I suppose this is Kelly’s way to rid the slower, yet big contributing, Eagles for a faster paced team. Might as well call the 2015 Eagles the Oregon Ducks, seeing how the roster is shaping up.
Chip Kelly has certainly tested his luck, getting DeSean Jackson out there, and now LeSean McCoy, as well as people like Trent Cole, Todd Herremans, and likely even Jeremy Maclin one day soon.
So who looks better in the GM hat, Jerry Jones or Chip Kelly?
I would ask who had the better end of the deal, the Bills or the Eagles, but I believe that’s an answer only time will afford us.