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Eagles were seeking NFL draft picks, not Kiko Alonso, in LeSean McCoy trade

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What does it mean?

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles' decision to trade away LeSean McCoy in exchange for Kiko Alonso caused some to accuse Chip Kelly of Oregon Duck bias, and it's easy to see why.

But according to one account, Alonso wasn't even the main target in the McCoy trade. Jenny Vrentas of The MMQB revealed the following in an interesting piece regarding Bills head coach Rex Ryan.

"Confidence rose higher on the third day of the retreat. The group had just wrapped meetings and were on the back deck, drinking cabernet and smoking cigars, when Whaley’s phone rang. "Any interest in LeSean McCoy?" a representative from the Eagles asked.

Philadelphia was looking for draft picks, and without a 2015 first-rounder the Bills didn’t have much ammo to make an offer. But Whaley told the Eagles rep, "Just do me a favor and look at our roster." The Eagles called back and told him, "Kiko Alonso." The straight-up deal—Alonso, a promising young linebacker who missed ’14 with an ACL tear, for McCoy, a two-time All-Pro running back—took 30 minutes, start to finish. "I’m not a red wine guy," Ryan says, "but that day I drank red wine."

This isn't the first time it's been reported that the McCoy trade only took a short amount of time to get done. Some, including Eagles players, may debate if the team got maximum value in the deal. However, if healthy, Alonso figures to be a big addition for Philadelphia.

What's more interesting is the fact that the Eagles were looking for draft picks. Philadelphia knew the Bills didn't have a first round pick in 2015 due to last year's Sammy Watkins trade. Were the Eagles content with a second round pick? Or perhaps Philly wanted Buffalo's 2016 first round selection? Either way, clearly the Bills weren't eager to part with picks.

The Marcus Mariota conspiracy theorist could argue the Eagles wanted draft pick(s) in order to have a better shot at trading up for him in the 2015 NFL Draft. So by not getting the picks, the dream is dead, right? Well, maybe not. One could theorize that the Eagles ended up being OK with acquiring Alonso instead of picks because the team is OK with making Mychal Kendricks expendable in a trade. The future of Kendricks is up in the air considering the team hasn't approached him about a contract extension and DeMeco Ryans was re-signed to a new deal.

Then again, it's possible that the Eagles just wanted picks because they feel they have several roster holes to fill (which they do). Either way, it's interesting.

On a completely unrelated note, former Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson was mentioned in the Ryan piece.

"Going into the 2014 season, the Jets had deficiencies at critical positions, including cornerback and receiver, but Ryan believed those holes could be mended to make the team competitive. The agent for All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis called the Jets about his returning to the team, but the Jets weren’t interested in their onetime star. (A year later they brought him back on a $70 million contract.) Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie visited with the Jets but left without a deal and signed with the Giants. According to multiple members of Ryan’s Jets staff, frustrations ran high when the team didn’t pursue free-agent wideout DeSean Jackson and when pleas to select Clemson receiver Martavis Bryant on the third day of the draft were ignored."

It was an odd situation last year when Jets owner Woody Johnson openly acknowledged his team was interested in Jackson despite the fact the wide receiver was still on Philadelphia's roster. After Jackson was released, however, reports indicated that then-Jets GM John Idzik had no interest in the free agent pass catcher. It would seem the same concerns that led Philadelphia to release Jackson also scared New York off.