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Report: Eagles sought draft picks in LeSean McCoy deal

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When the Eagles acquired linebacker Kiko Alonso in exchange for All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy early last month, critics were quick to charge Chip Kelly with valuing former Oregon Ducks players over established NFL stars.

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As it turns out, Alonso wasn't Kelly's original trade target.

When an Eagles operative first reached out to gauge the Bills' interest in McCoy, according to The MMQB.com's Jenny Vrentas, Philadelphia was seeking draft picks in return.

Absent a 2015 first-round pick thanks to last year's Sammy Watkins trade, Buffalo general manager Doug Whaley responded, "Just do me a favor and look at our roster."

As NFL Media columnist Michael Silver reported at the time, the trade came to fruition in less than 30 minutes once the Eagles countered with Alonso's name.

Having wrapped up meetings on owner Terry Pegula's yacht, the Bills' brass were drinking cabernet and smoking cigars, per Vrentas, when the deal went down.

"I'm not a red wine guy," Rex Ryan told Vrentas, "but that day I drank red wine."

The Eagles' willingness to accept Alonso rather than draft picks points to Kelly's determination to move on from McCoy.

Owner Jeffrey Lurie revealed at last month's NFL Annual Meeting that the Eagles had been discussing McCoy's "asset value" for a long time, as the shifty runner was deemed ill-suited to Kelly's power-spread offense.

McCoy attributes the trade to Kelly's lack of respect for star players. More likely, the decision was expedited because the relationship between McCoy and Kelly had become strained, as the running back told NFL Media's LaDainian Tomlinson in February.

Two months later, McCoy and his $11.95 million in salary cap space have been replaced by Alonso, Ryan Mathews and 2014 Offensive Player of the Year DeMarco Murray.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses the Philip Rivers-Marcus Mariota trade speculation and plays "What's More Likely?" Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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