Bills, Eagles Talking Trade?
By Lance Epstein
According to Reuben Frank of the Burlington County Times, the Eagles have called the Buffalo Bills about the availability of running back Marshawn Lynch.
A reason for this is that Frank is also reporting that starting Eagles running back LeSean McCoy is "out indefinitely." This would be complete 180 considering that Andy Reid said McCoy might play through the pain at his press conference on Monday. Yet, the Eagles could still use an insurance policy incase he cannot.
Heading into the season, Lynch was lost in the Bills crowded backfield. He was third on the Bills depth chart behind Fred Jackson and rookie C.J. Spiller to begin the year.
Over the past couple games, Lynch has seen his workload increase. Many experts believe this was a ploy to showcase their former first-round pick and increase his trade value.
Nevertheless, Lynch has not been overly impressive since gaining the starting role. He has 37 carries for 164 yards (4.6 yards per rushing attempt) and no touchdowns. Moreover, he had a costly fumble against the Jets this past weekend, which changed the momentum of the game. Additionally he got only four carries for eight yards.
Still, the former Cal running back has the talent to be a top-10 back in the NFL. During his first two years in the league, he had two 1,000-yard seasons (2,151 rushing yards total). Additionally, he scored 15 touchdowns during that period of time. Certainly, the Eagles have been known to struggle inside the red zone and Lynch is a finisher inside the 20s. He has the strength to push the pile, make defenders bounce off of him and get the ball across the goal line.
More importantly, he is versatile back, who excels as receiver out of the backfield. This is something that plays right into the Eagles offensive scheme. During his brief four-year career, Lynch has caught 94 balls for 670 yards (14.9 yards per reception) and a touchdown. Besides McCoy, none of the Eagles running backs possess the skillset to receive the ball out of the backfield like Lynch.
A major reason that the Eagles are inquiring about Lynch is due to former Saint (RB) Mike Bell doing nothing with the Eagles. In fact, he has been injured more than he has been on the field for the Eagles. In addition, Eldra Buckley is not big enough to be the main guy and Joique Bell is a virtual unknown.
Furthermore, the Eagles still haven't found a replacement for injured fullback Leonard Weaver. The Eagles intended to use Weaver in goal line situations and as the primary running back in two tight end formations. Ultimately, Lynch can be that back once McCoy is fully recovered.
The biggest question becomes, what will it take to get Lynch's services? The Packers were in serious discussions with the Bills, but the talks went nowhere after the Bills asked for a third round picks and Lynch is one bad move away from being suspended for an entire year.
Unfortunately, the Eagles value draft picks, so it is highly unlikely that they pay that steep of a price. Not only that, Lynch is getting paid a nice amount of money due to his rookie (first round) contract.
Reid and GM Howie Roseman might budge on a fourth, but it is more likely that it will be a fifth rounder. However, linebacker Omar Gaither, who has fallen out of favor with Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott could be part of the package as well.
Nonetheless, the move makes perfect sense for the Birds if McCoy cannot play through the pain and is indeed "out indefinitely" like Frank is reporting.