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ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported the trade, pointing out the trade cannot be made official until the new league year begins next Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET. And while McCoy's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, announced on Twitter he has spoken with the Eagles organization and there is no trade at this time, go ahead and assume the final announcement is just a formality until you hear otherwise.
Because it's done.
In fact, C.J. Spiller, appearing live on NFL Network immediately after the report came out, told viewers the Bills called him and informed him of the move and advised him he would be allowed to move on in free agency.
As NFL.com's Chris Wesseling suggests, the Eagles' willingness to part with McCoy is a stunner on the surface, but this is essentially a salary dump in which the return value is a young linebacker with Pro Bowl potential.
Indeed, there was considerable speculation in Philadelphia in recent days as to whether McCoy would have to take a pay cut (or a restructuring that pays him the same amount but in a different way). McCoy was count $11.9 million against the salary cap.
Wesseling went on to speculate that Chip Kelly reluctance to devote $11.95 million in cap space to McCoy after watching the 26-year-old's production drop from 5.1 yards per carry and 10.4 yards per reception to 4.2 and 5.5, respectively, was behind the move. Indeed, McCoy gained nearly 300 fewer yards (1,607 to 1,319) last season on the same amount of carries he had in 2013 and just over half as many catches as the year before.
After being phased out the passing game in favor of Darren Sproles early in the season, McCoy forfeited short-yardage work to Chris Polk down the stretch. In other words, McCoy was too often on the sidelines in critical situations.
As Wesseling put it, "With McCoy's role diminished and his effectiveness waning, the Eagles must have reached the conclusion that it was better to pull the cord a year early than a year too late."
In Buffalo, McCoy seem likely to get the lion's share of the workload ahead of Fred Jackson with new offensive coordinator Greg Roman and head coach Rex Ryan going with a "ground and pound" attack that McCoy seems well-suited to handling.
In Philadelphia, Polk will be of much greater interest with Sproles remaining a viable fantasy weapon in a complimentary role barring the arrival of a younger, faster back. Along those lines, it will be interesting to see if Kelly joins Chan Gailey and the Jets in making a run at Spiller next week.
Either way, expect the Eagles to dip into this year's very deep group of rookie running backs.
Meanwhile, Alonso missed all of the 2014-15 season with a torn ACL, but in his rookie season of 2013, he played every defensive snap and ranked third in the NFL with 159 tackles. An Oregon product, Alonso will reunite with his former college coach, Kelly.