The Legend of Kiko Alonso Traded

By now all of you reading this are well aware that the Buffalo Bills have reportedly traded linebacker Kiko Alonso for Philidelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy.

When the news first broke I tried to sit down and write about the blockbuster trade. But, I couldn’t. I needed more time to process what was happening, to think through the consequences, to weigh the positives and negatives. If I’m being honest, I needed more time to try to find something wrong with the trade, because my first instinct was that it was perfect for the Bills and that just didn’t feel right. It felt unnatural to be totally satisfied with giving up Alonso, a player all of Buffalo has been counting down the days to his return. It felt wrong to be content with letting CJ Spiller sign with another team, and let Fred Jackson take a notable step back for a new RB. It all just felt strange.

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So, I took some time, put away my laptop and thought. And here I am, a few hours later, still happy with the trade, fine with the consequences, and seeing many more positives than negatives. The bottom line is the Buffalo Bills just got one of the best running backs in the league. And, as much as it saddens me to say this, we gave up an obviously expendable piece of the defense. We didn’t have Alonso this entire year, and we played fine defensively—heck, we played better than fine. I didn’t want to admit it to myself, but Alonso was part of the surplus of defensive talent, a surplus worth cashing in on. Plus, he had question marks with his pending recovery. He was the most expendable player that would yield this big of a return, and it certainly is a big return.

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With the new system Rex Ryan and Greg Roman want to run, a good run game is premium. Now, they have better than good, they have arguably the best. McCoy had a down year in 2014 compared to his 2013 campaign, and even that was a great season full of big numbers. McCoy is a perfect fit for Buffalo and will surely continue to produce. This move obviously means Spiller’s departure from Buffalo, but McCoy is an upgrade. Again, it is sad to admit but it’s the business of football. Spiller was a fan favorite, but outside of 2012 never seemed to have a place in the offense. Whichever coaching staff it was either couldn’t find him enough touches or found him too many until he was injured. Spiller was an unfortunate conundrum, as he obviously posses talent and raw skills.

I didn’t want to say it at first and it’s hard to say now, but this trade has no hole. It makes sense from every angle I’ve looked at it. Some are saying that McCoy may want to hold out of camp, but if there is one thing I’m sure of it’s Ryan’s ability as a salesman. I’m sure McCoy will be on the field and ready to play come the time.

So, after much deliberation and thought I’m finally willing to mark this trade a win for Buffalo. We improved our offense without making the defense any worse than it was last year. We made a football smart move. We got better. I’m still not quite sure what to do next, or where we go from here. But, I do know that if you weren’t convinced that this is no longer your mediocre Buffalo Bills, you certainly are now.