Links of the week: Eagles in process of big roster changes

The Eagles dropped a bomb on the entire world this past week when they decided to trade their star running back LeSean McCoy to the Bills for LB Kiko Alonso. While that trade technically can’t go through until next Tuesday, it’s likely going to remain intact and change the Eagles’ offense completely. Chip Kelly wants to take this team to the next level, but he’s not worried about doing it in an unorthodox way. Here are some links from the past week on all the things they did and are planning to do:

1. Eagles have trade in place to send LeSean McCoy to Bills for Kiko Alonso

By Jimmy Kempski, via Philly Voice

This move left me even more surprised than when the Eagles released DeSean Jackson the year before. I was absolutely stunned and confused, especially after predicting just a few hours before that I would be surprised if the Eagles got rid of either McCoy or Trent Cole, who both ended up off the team shortly after I said that. McCoy was an excellent player for the Eagles, but he became very expensive, and Kelly determined that he was expendable. They shipped him to Buffalo for an excellent young linebacker in Alonso, who missed all of 2014 with a torn ACL. I am saddened that McCoy has left, but I’m very excited to see what Alonso can do.

2. Eagles release Cary Williams to bring Philadelphia’s cap space over $30 million

By Brandon Lee Gowten, via Bleeding Green Nation

This move was far less surprising as it was bound to happen at some point during the offseason. There was some belief that the Eagles would wait to release Williams until they had at least one starting cornerback locked up in free agency, but it seems like they couldn’t wait. They clearly have much more cap space than $30 million since this article was written before the McCoy trade, which will give them incredible financial flexibility this offseason. The release saved the team $6.5 million in cap space, which seems like a no-brainer.

3. 2015 NFL Free Agency: Eagles to target Devin McCourty, Jason Worilds, Byron Maxwell

By Brandon Lee Gowten, via Bleeding Green Nation

Wow, that’s a lot of top names. The Eagles are prepared to essentially do whatever it takes to get a group of guys that they see fit as system guys, and that likely means turning this roster upside down. There had been many reports of the Eagles expressing interest in Maxwell, and now he has said the interest is mutual. This is the first time I’ve officially heard of them being interested in McCourty and Worilds, although targeting those guys makes sense considering their team needs on defense.

4. Eagles pick up former Packers linebacker; Don’t use franchise tag on Maclin

By Nick Fierro, via The Morning Call

The Eagles’ first real offseason move was the signing of linebacker Brad Jones, who had been a cap causality of the Packers just a few days before the signing. Jones used to play outside linebacker before he switched to inside when the Packers switched to a 3-4 defense. This versatility is sure to please Chip Kelly, who loves when players are able to play multiple positions. He will likely provide depth on the inside with Casey Matthews unlikely to be re-signed. Jeremy Maclin on the other hand was not given the franchise tag, which isn’t too surprising considering the team wants to work on a long-term deal with him.

5. Howie Roseman doesn’t seem to favor an Eagles trade up for Marcus Mariota

By Brandon Lee Gowten, via Bleeding Green Nation

While Roseman’s opinion doesn’t really matter in terms of draft day anymore, it’s interesting to hear that he would be against them trading up for Marcus Mariota. This comment was made during the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference at MIT this past week. Now that Chip Kelly is essentially the general manager, Roseman can’t stop him from making a play at Mariota if he wants to, but it would be an interesting comment to look back on if Mariota doesn’t work out in the NFL.


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