Eagles Fans Might Need to Thank the Buffalo Bills
Nobody knows what the Eagles will look like this year. No, not even Chip Kelly. With the craziest offseason in recent years, the Eagles have many new faces on their current roster, most notably, a new starting QB, RB, and WR, as Nick Foles, LeSean McCoy, and Jeremy Maclin have each departed. Some “trust in Chip”, while others doubt him. There really is no in between. You either love or hate the guy. In an offseason chockfull of risky moves with uncertain outcomes, one move resonates with most Eagles fans. On March 10, 2015, the Eagles and Bills sent shockwaves around the league in a rare player-for-player trade: RB LeSean McCoy for LB Kiko Alonso. This, however, was not the first trade in Eagles-Bills history. In fact, these two organizations have traded with one another many times before. In this article, we dive into each trade in Eagles-Bills history and observe that they almost always work in Philly’s favor. If you are a Chip Doubter and/or McCoy Misser, by the end of this article, these labels should quickly be nothing more than formerly accurate misnomers.
Trade #1: On 3/26/07, the Philadelphia Eagles traded DT Darwin Walker and a 2008 7th round pick to the Buffalo Bills for LB Takeo Spikes and QB Kelly Holcomb.
Bills Fallout: The Bills essentially received just two late-round draft picks in this trade because Walker never played a down for Buffalo. To explain, Walker refused to show up for camp until they renegotiated his contract, so on 7/29/07, they traded the well past his prime DT to Chicago for an undisclosed draft pick in 2008. Fortunately for the Bills, they did draft WR Stevie Johnson with the Eagles’ 7th round pick.
Eagles Fallout: The Eagles were able to get one solid year out of journeyman LB Takeo Spikes, however it was QB Kelly Holcomb who ended being the better part of this trade. Just as Darwin was shipped off by Buffalo in July of 07, so too was Holcomb by Philly in August of 07. On 8/27/07, Holcomb was traded to the Minnesota Vikings for a 6th round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. This is where it gets interesting, folks. This 6th round pick was used in a 2009 draft day trade with Cleveland that landed WR Jeremy Maclin.
Trade #1 Winner: Philadelphia Eagles.
Why? Jeremy Maclin > Stevie Johnson.
Trade #2: On 4/20/09, the Philadelphia Eagles traded 2009 1st, 4th, and 6th round draft picks to the Buffalo Bills for T Jason Peters.
Bills Fallout: Peters had been unhappy with his contract and had not been attending the Bills’ offseason activities after staging a holdout in 2008 during training camp, so of course, the Bills decided to trade him. With the three picks received from the Eagles, the Bills drafted OL Eric Wood, TE Shawn Nelson, and DE Danny Batten, respectively. Collectively, though, these three players don’t even come close to the value that franchise LT Jason Peters brings to the table.
Eagles Fallout: Believed by many, myself included, to be the best Left Tackle in football, Jason Peters has had and is continuing to have a tremendous career with the Eagles. Based solely on stats, ProFootballFocus grades Peters the number one OT in the league, and rightfully so. Currently the 7th highest paid (avg. $/year) LT in the NFL, he is worth every penny. It’s hard to believe there are 6 LT’s better than Peters, but in the NFL, the best at his position isn’t always being paid the most (i.e. Pittsburgh’s Lawrence Timmons is highest paid MLB, averaging over $9 mil/year while Carolina’s Luke Kuechly makes just over $3 mil/year). Looking back now, it is clear that the Eagles got the better end of the Jason Peters trade.
Trade #2 Winner: Philadelphia Eagles.
Why? Jason “The Franchise” Peters > Eric Wood + Shawn Nelson + Danny Batten
Trade #3: On 5/10/14, the Philadelphia Eagles traded RB Bryce Brown and a 2014 7th round draft choice to the Buffalo Bills for a 2014 7th round draft choice and a 2015 4th round draft choice.
Bills Fallout: RB Bryce Brown showed some promise in Philly as a backup RB, but last year, he joined a crowded Bills backfield headed by Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. Even when injury caused Brown to start a couple games, he didn’t really take advantage of the opportunity. In his two games as the Bills’ starting RB, he averaged just 2.2 yards per carry. That’s pitiful. With the Eagles’ 7th draft choice, the Bills selected T Seantrel Henderson out of the University of Miami. In 2014, he actually exceeded expectations and started all 16 games for Buffalo over fellow rookie OT Cyrus Kouandjio (2nd round pick out of Alabama).
Eagles Fallout: With the Bills’ 7th round draft choice received in this trade, the Eagles selected DT Beau Allen out of Wisconsin. In 2014, Allen was a played the role of Nose Tackle in Billy Davis’ 3-4 defensive scheme. Not to mention, he’s right behind Clay Matthews for NFL’s most beautiful head of hair! In all seriousness though, he did a great job rotating in for starting NT Bennie Logan whenever he needed a breather. On 5/2/15, day 2 of this year’s NFL Draft, the Eagles traded the 4th round draft choice from Buffalo in the Bryce Brown trade to Detroit for a 2016 3rd round draft choice. Turning a 2015 4th round choice into a 2016 3rd round choice could serve as a very wise move by Chip Kelly.
Trade #3 Winner: Push.
Why? Backup RB + Starting RT = Rotational DT + Potential 3rd Round Star
Trade #4: On 3/10/15, the Philadelphia Eagles traded RB LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for LB Kiko Alonso.
Bills Fallout: Remains to be seen.
Eagles Fallout: Remains to be seen.
Trade #4 Winner: Unknown.
Though it is entirely too early to crown either the Buffalo Bills or Philadelphia Eagles the winning team of Trade #4, if the trend continues, Chip Kelly and the Eagles will reign victorious yet again.