Player-for-player trades are rare enough in the NFL, let alone ones that involve two well-known players. But next week, the Buffalo Bills and the Philadelphia Eagles will pull off such a trade, with the Bills sending linebacker Kiko Alonso to the Eagles in exchange for running back LeSean McCoy.
ESPN's Adam Schefter had the report first.
Filed to ESPN: Bills have notified LB Kiko Alonso he is going to be traded to Philadelphia for RB LeSean McCoy. Trade official next week.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 3, 2015
First, on the Bills' new starting running back: he'll be 27 in July, is going into his seventh NFL season, and is a three-time Pro Bowl player and two-time, first-team All Pro with 6,792 rushing yards, 2,282 receiving yards, and 54 touchdowns to his name. He enters a Bills backfield that will now undoubtedly lose C.J. Spiller in free agency, and which already includes veteran Fred Jackson, the bruising Anthony Dixon, and McCoy's former understudy in Philadelphia, Bryce Brown.
The Bills are taking on a hefty amount of money in acquiring McCoy; he's due $9.75 million in base salary, and will count $10.25 million against the Bills' expected $31.56 million in salary cap space when the new league year begins on March 10.
Alonso, meanwhile, yields the Bills a star running back without having played a snap in the 2014 season, which makes a curious trade even more so. The 24-year-old was a star rookie in 2013 before an offseason knee injury cost him the entirety of the 2014 season - during which the Bills suddenly found themselves with an overabundance of quality linebackers after rookie Preston Brown and third-year pro Nigel Bradham developed into quality starters.
They - Brown and Bradham, that is - will be penciled in as the Bills' starting linebackers for Rex Ryan next season, while Alonso will be reunited with his college head coach, Chip Kelly, in Philadelphia.
Naturally, there's a lot to wrap our minds around right now, and so we'll leave it at that for now. Have fun in the comments section. We'll start breaking this down in a more comprehensive manner tomorrow morning.