LeSean McCoy Recalls Thinking 2015 Trade From Eagles to Bills Was a Joke

Philadelphia trading its all-time leading rusher in his prime reverberated for years.
Aug 16, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) on the sidelines.
Aug 16, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) on the sidelines. / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

In the long-ago offseason of 2015, then-Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy spent his spring making one fact perfectly clear: he really, really, really didn't like Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly.

The Eagles traded McCoy—the franchise's all-time leading rusher, to this day—to the Bills on March 10 of that year. On April 6, the running back told The Philadelphia Inquirer that Kelly didn't like or respect "stars" like himself or wide receiver DeSean Jackson. In May, "Shady" told ESPN The Magazine that Kelly let go of "all the good Black players."

On Wednesday, McCoy and Jackson revisited the trade nine years later in a retrospective.

"(Agent) Drew Rosenhaus, he called me. He said 'Shady, it's not a joke'—that's the first thing he says to me. He doesn't even say, 'Hello,'" McCoy remembered. "He says, 'Shady, the Eagles are trading you to the Buffalo Bills.'"

McCoy found Rosenhaus's call hilarious, until it wasn't.

"I say, 'Hey, man. Stop playing, man. What you want, man?'" McCoy said. "He said, 'I'm not playing, Shady. They're trading you.' I'm like, 'They're trading me?'"

McCoy remembered assuming Philadelphia would get a haul in return, but was surprised to learn he was being traded for linebacker Kiko Alonso straight up.

"You know where he went to school at? Oregon," McCoy said.

For anyone new to this saga—one guess as to where Kelly coached before taking over the Eagles in 2013.

Patrick Andres


Patrick Andres has been a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated since 2022. Before SI, his work appeared in The Blade, Athlon Sports, Fear the Sword, and Diamond Digest. Patrick has covered everything from zero-attendance Big Ten basketball to a seven-overtime college football game. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.