It’s widely expected, though not absolutely guaranteed, that the Philadelphia Eagles will make a move before the NFL trade deadline expires later this month. The Eagles have been mentioned in a number of trade rumors lately.
One of the recent rumors indicates the Eagles are interested in re-acquiring their all-time franchise leading rusher, LeSean McCoy. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell recently outlined what that trade might look like.
The details: Buffalo Bills trade McCoy to Philadelphia Eagles for G Stefen Wisniewski, 2019 sixth-round pick.
OK, let’s get weirder. The Eagles restructured Fletcher Cox’s contract this week to free up $6.5 million in cap space, which is a curious tactic for a team to pursue during the season unless it’s planning on acquiring some salary. Philadelphia has a need at running back with Jay Ajayi shelved by a torn ACL and both Corey Clement and Darren Sproles struggling to stay on the field. General manager Howie Roseman is certainly familiar with McCoy, who was traded to the Bills for Kiko Alonso during the Chip Kelly era. McCoy also played under Andy Reid, whose scheme at the time shares similarities with Doug Pederson’s now.
The Bills are rebuilding, and while McCoy offers Josh Allen a safety valve, the 30-year-old back is not going to be part of the next Bills team to make the playoffs. He has $4.3 million in base salary remaining in 2018 and a $6.2 million base salary next year, and while I suspect the Eagles probably wouldn’t be interested in paying Shady that much in 2019, they could certainly use him for the remainder of this campaign.
To make the case more palatable for the Bills, they’re going to get a player who might help Allen develop. The 29-year-old Wisniewski started 11 games for the Eagles last season and helped them win a Super Bowl, but as the Philadelphia offensive line has struggled in 2018, Wisniewski has been benched for Isaac Seumalo. Wisniewski has suggested that the benching wasn’t performance-based, and while the Eagles might be willing to tolerate his griping, they could also trade Wisniewski and activate Chance Warmack as their backup guard. Wisniewski is under contract until 2019 and could represent an upgrade on guard John Miller or center Russell Bodine.
Earlier this week, 97.5 The Fanatic radio host Anthony Gargano said he heard the Bills’ asking price for McCoy involves draft picks in the second AND third rounds. That’s obviously too much.
Something like this trade proposed by Barnwell is much more palatable. I’m not crazy about the idea of having to root for McCoy given all the off-filed issues, but if it’s not going to cost a ton I could see why the Eagles would be interested. The Eagles project to have three sixth-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft so that’s nothing. Wisniewski is the only thing of value that the Eagles would be giving up, and it’s clear they don’t prefer him as a starter.
The tricky part about giving up Wis is that he’s not too far away from being in the starting lineup as Lane Johnson is currently dealing with an ankle injury. If Johnson is out and Jason Peters continues to be bothered by his nagging quad issue, Wis is likely to resume his role at left guard with Isaac Seumalo moving out to play tackle. Then again, the Eagles could always feel like Chance Warmack is capable of stepping up with Wis gone. At least, I hope they would considering he’s currently counting as a $2 million cap hit just to be a healthy scratch on game day every week.
Ultimately, I don’t the Bills do this deal because it’s not a ton of value for them as they operate from a position where they have leverage. The Eagles are the desperate team here, not Buffalo.
Should the Eagles trade a 2019 sixth-round pick and Stefen Wisniewski for LeSean McCoy?
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Some other interesting trade candidates floated out by Barnwell include star running back Le’Veon Bell, wide receiver Golden Tate, and safety Karl Joseph. I do like the idea of buying low on Joseph with the Eagles needing help in the secondary. I don’t think the Eagles ultimately freed up cap space to chase a guy like him, though. It seems like they’re going to go after a bigger fish.