BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — The Eagles tried to steal LeSean McCoy back from the Bills after Chip Kelly’s firing, but the Bills rejected the Eagles’ trade offers, according to a story in the New York Daily News.
According to the story, Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman tried to undo Kelly’s catastrophic trade of McCoy to the Bills by offering Jordan Matthews and other unnamed players at some point after he regained control of the front office.
Kelly traded McCoy to the Bills in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso after the 2014 season and was fired after the 2015 season. The Eagles wound up trading Matthews to the Bills anyway this past summer for cornerback Ronald Darby.
McCoy, one of the most popular players in recent Eagles history, has long been outspoken about his dislike of Kelly, who is now the head coach at UCLA. He said recently on NFL Network: “I got a lot of love for Philadelphia now that the little short coach is with the kids, where he belongs.”
McCoy is the Eagles’ all-time leading rusher with 6,792 yards in six seasons. In three years with the Bills, he has 3,300 yards. He’s made six Pro Bowls, including five in a row. He’s already one of only 14 players in NFL history with 10,000 rushing yards and 400 receptions, and his 4.6 career rushing average is second-highest of those 14 players. He’s one of just six players to reach 10,000 rushing yards and 400 catches before his 30th birthday.
McCoy’s career body of work has put him into the Hall of Fame conversation. Although his rushing average was down to a career-low 4.0 this year, he still had 1,138 rushing yards, 59 receptions and eight touchdowns.
The Eagles have been trying to figure out the running back position since McCoy’s departure after the 2014 season. They signed DeMarco Murray initially to replace McCoy, but he averaged only 3.6 yards per carry and was traded to the Titans after the 2015 season.
Ryan Mathews, who had backed up Murray in 2015, was promoted to the lead role and averaged 4.3 yards per carry in 2016 but was injured much of the season and was released after undergoing offseason neck surgery. He was out of football this past season.
This year, the Eagles got to the Super Bowl with veteran LeGarrette Blount, midseason acquisition Jay Ajayi and undrafted rookie Corey Clement. Wendell Smallwood began the season as one of the main backs but has been mainly inactive since Ajayi’s arrival. Darren Sproles has been out with an injury since Week 3 and is scheduled to be a free agent.
The one thing the Shady trade did accomplish is it helped the Eagles land Carson Wentz, since one of the picks the Eagles acquired when they traded Alonso and Byron Maxwell to the Dolphins wound up going to the Browns as part of the deal that brought the Eagles the No. 2 pick in the 2016 draft.