Another day, another rumor. This time it's Mark Eckel of NJ.com reporting that the Eagles could use LeSean McCoy as trade bait in order for Philadelphia to move up in the 2015 NFL Draft to land Marcus Mariota. Here's what Eckel had to say:
"It's going to take a lot to get up and get (Mariota),'' a source with another team, who requested anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak on the subject, said. "(Kelly) thinks McCoy can help get him to the top (of the draft). Either that, or he'll trade him somewhere else for picks and then use those picks (to trade up in the draft). He's not going to cut him. He's not doing that again.''
As Eckel notes, his source comes from a different team. So it's not as if that source directly knows of the Eagles' plans. But it's interesting to see that the source think it's a realistic possibility.
This rumor comes on the heels of a report last week that the Eagles are determined to make a strong play for Mariota. Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice continues to become more convinced the Birds could move up in this year's draft prior to when it starts on April 30.
Why it makes sense
If the Eagles truly want Mariota, they have to be willing to pay a significant cost. Perhaps trading McCoy could spare the Eagles from having to give up extra picks if it's a player-heavy trade package. McCoy's 2015 cap number is nearly $12 million. Trading McCoy would save $8.5 million in cap space. When it comes to replacing McCoy, the Eagles could be in luck because this year's draft class is loaded at running back.
Why it doesn't make sense
According to Jeff McLane, the Eagles have NOT approached McCoy about restructuring his contract. So perhaps they're fine with it as it is and just want to keep him instead. Cutting McCoy would open a big hole at running back because only Darren Sproles, Chris Polk, Kenjon Barner, and Matthew Tucker are currently behind him. Not to mention that only so many teams might be willing to pay McCoy's big cap number. McCoy might not have that much trade value considering he's coming off somewhat of a down year; his 4.2 average yards per carry was nearly a career low.
Right now there doesn't seem to be a strong indication that McCoy is on the move. That could always change, but for now the safe bet is the Eagles keep him at his current number.