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Did Howie Roseman really try to trade for LeSean McCoy?

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Did Howie Roseman really try to trade for LeSean McCoy?

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.

Shady loves Philly and still hates Chip Kelly

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Shady loves Philly and still hates Chip Kelly

It was real Shady on NFL Network today, and not just because LeSean McCoy was on. The former Eagle let everyone know exactly how he feels about the city of Philadelphia and his former coach, Chip Kelly.

“I got a lot of love for Philadelphia now that the little short coach is with the kids where he belongs,” McCoy said.

Kelly, who had a tremendous amount of success at Oregon before being signed by the Eagles, is back in the collegiate ranks with the “kids” after signing a big-money deal with UCLA. The beef between McCoy and Kelly goes back to Kelly’s tenure in Philly, but Shady still cheers for the Eagles, as seen on his Instagram story last week when he was at the game with former Eagles teammate Jeremy Maclin.

After his fourth 1,000-plus yards rushing season in 2013, McCoy was shipped to Buffalo for Kiko Alonso, a move that did not sit well with many, including McCoy himself. Alonso was later traded to Miami after one disappointing season for the Birds. McCoy has had a great deal of success over the past three seasons with the Bills and was selected to his fourth straight Pro Bowl this year.

Let’s hope Shady is happy once again for his former team after today’s game at the Linc.

NFL divisional round matchups fully set

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NFL divisional round matchups fully set

NEW ORLEANS — Drew Brees passed for 376 yards and two touchdowns, and the New Orleans Saints held off Carolina's late comeback bid to seal a 31-26 victory in their NFC wild-card game on Sunday.

The Panthers had a first down on the Saints 26-yard line with 58 seconds left, but heavy pressure by All-Pro defensive end Cameron Jordan a couple plays later induced an intentional grounding penalty on Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, making it third-and-25 on the Saints 34 and a required 10-second runoff left 22 seconds on the clock.

After an incompletion in the end zone on third down, Vonn Bell sacked Newton on a safety blitz, ensuring the Saints (12-5) swept all three meetings with Carolina (11-6) this season, in addition to winning their first playoff game in four seasons.

"We wanted it more," Jordan said. "I mean they've been to their Super Bowl, let `em go to another one next year. We want our run."

Brees' touchdowns went for 80-yards to Ted Ginn and 9 yards to tight end Josh Hill. Fullback Zach line and running back Alvin Kamara each ran for short touchdowns, the latter set up by Michael Thomas 46-yard reception.

Thomas caught eight passes for 131 yards on a day when the Saints needed the passing game to compensate for a ground game that struggled to get going.

Helped by the presence of tight end Greg Olsen -- who did not play in the teams' previous two meetings -- Newton marched Carolina into Saints territory more often than not. But the Panthers stalled four times from inside the New Orleans 25, settling for four field goal attempts on those drives, one of which kicker Graham Gano surprisingly missed (see full recap).

Jaguars beat Bills in ugly, sometimes unwatchable game
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Blake Bortles put together one decent drive all day, doing as much with his legs as his arm, and the defensive-minded Jacksonville Jaguars eked out an ugly and sometimes unwatchable 10-3 victory against the Buffalo Bills in an AFC wild-card game Sunday.

In the postseason for the first time since January 2008, the third-seeded Jaguars (11-6) advanced to play at No. 2 seed Pittsburgh next week.

The sixth-seeded Bills (9-8) will head home after ending the longest, current playoff drought in North American professional sports.

Bortles was a big reason Jacksonville won the game and a big reason it was so close.

This was far from a passing clinic. It was more like a painful exercise in overcoming poor passing.

Bortles was off most of the day, misfiring short and long, but made up for it with 88 yards rushing. He scrambled for a long first down run after fumbling the ball late, prompting a Bills assistant to slam a clipboard and eliciting a huge grin from Bortles (see full story).