It was one of the most fascinating trades of the NFL offseason, and now it’s the story that just won’t go away: with the Eagles preparing to face the Bills this weekend, Philadelphia’s decision to send LeSean McCoy to Buffalo back in March is a hot topic once again, with McCoy and Chip Kelly among those that have discussed the deal this week.
Continuing to get questions about the trade, Kelly told reporters today that the move was designed to free up cap space, and allowed the team to go after Sam Bradford, as Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk details.
“We traded an outstanding running back for a linebacker, but we also traded $700K for $11.9MM,” Kelly said. “In this league, sometimes a guy signs a four-year, $45 million contract, but it’s two years at $16 million guaranteed, the rest of it isn’t, and the back end is really high. So you have to make decisions when guys aren’t in guaranteed years about what you’re going to do.
“So however you look at it, whether it gave us an opportunity to get somebody defensively with that extra money, or it gave us an opportunity because we had to free up money to get Sam,” Kelly continued. “It was a tough decision, but with all those guys we let go this year who were integral to my first two years here, those decisions were made by money. Those decisions weren’t made because we don’t think they’re good football players or we don’t think they’re good people.”
Here’s more on the Eagles:
- Per Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link), McCoy and the Eagles have a difference of opinion on whether it would’ve been possible to restructure his contract before the trade — according to Kelly, McCoy’s agent suggested reworking the contract wasn’t an option, but the running back says that possibility was never brought up.
- As Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets, it’s a case of he-said, he-said at this point, but McLane’s sources dispute Kelly’s claim that agent Drew Rosenhaus was unwilling to restructure McCoy’s deal.
- While the Eagles’ old running back is one subject of conversation leading up to this week’s game, their current running back is in the news as well. According to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link), there are some NFL executives who believe DeMarco Murray has recognized he’s not a great fit for Kelly’s offense, and would like to return to Dallas. A trade is extremely unlikely though, so Murray would have to be cut for that scenario to be in play.
- For his part, Murray confirmed today to reporters that he spoke to owner Jeffrey Lurie about his role in Philadelphia, but he said he doesn’t regret signing with the Eagles, and definitely wants to be back next season (all Twitter links via Albert Breer of the NFL Network).