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What should Eagles trade for Bell or McCoy?

Eliot Shorr-Parks
October 11, 2018 - 5:30 am

The Eagles have a season-defining game on Thursday night at MetLife Stadium against the New York Giants. Win and their season remains afloat. Lose and it might already be time to look ahead to 2019. 

Despite the massive game, however, the talk surrounding the team is on the potential of adding one of two big-name running backs. 

Rumors are swirling that the Eagles have interest in both Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell and Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy. Adding either player, however, comes with complications — and won’t be cheap. 

What should the Eagles be willing to part with to trade for either Bell or McCoy? 

Here is a look at both:

Le’Veon Bell: Adding Bell is going to be expensive in two ways. First, the Steelers aren’t going to give Bell away. He may not want to be there, but the Steelers own his rights and know if he walks away as a free agent they almost certainly will get a third-round compensatory pick in 2020. So giving him away for anything less than a third-round pick doesn’t make sense. 

That means if the Eagles want in on Bell, they are going to have to part with at least a third-round pick — and maybe even a second. 

It is a price they should be willing to pay. 

The Eagles, assuming they win on Thursday night, are still a team that has Super Bowl hopes. They might not be playing like it right now, but the talent is there on both sides of the ball. The only real issue the Eagles have is at running back now that Jay Ajayi is out for the season. They don’t have a player in the backfield that scares opposing defenses. It impacts their ability to run RPOs, as defenses don’t have to respect a potential running play. 

Bell changes that instantly. 

Bell is one of the best offensive weapons in the NFL. He would make the Eagles’ offense considerably better right away. He would not only improve their running attack, but he would improve their passing game as well. Bell is the best pass-catching running back in the NFL.

What quarterback Carson Wentz needs more than anything right now is weapons. Outside of tight end Zach Ertz, nobody on the Eagles’ offense scares opposing defenses. 

If the Steelers are willing to part with Bell for a second, and Bell makes it known he is excited to come to the Eagles, top personnel executive Howie Roseman should do the deal. 

Final verdict: A second-round pick 

LeSean McCoy: The decision to trade for McCoy is in some ways simpler than making a move for Bell. 

McCoy would without question be thrilled to come back to Philadelphia. He is familiar with the city, the head coach and the franchise. It would be an easy fit. It would also be a cheap fit, as McCoy would only cost around $3.5 million against the salary cap. That would be money well spent for an Eagles’ team that, as mentioned above, badly needs both a running back and another weapon on offense. 

McCoy isn’t as good as Bell, but he brings a lot of the same things Bell does — just on a slightly lower level. 

Off-the-field, however, the decision to bring in McCoy is extremely complicated. 

McCoy is in the middle of a nasty legal dispute with his ex-girlfriend that includes allegations of domestic, child and animal abuse. At this point they are just allegations that McCoy has denied. The Eagles, however, would need to feel comfortable bringing McCoy to the franchise. In addition to the potential moral dilemma of adding McCoy, there is also the possibility that the NFL could step in if McCoy ends up being charged due to any of the allegations. 

If the Eagles are comfortable with what they know about McCoy’s off-the-field issues, then he is an attractive piece to add to the offense. He is not, however, instant, game-changing player that Bell is. 

Add everything up, and the Eagles shouldn’t give up anywhere near the same value for McCoy as they should for Bell. 

Final verdict: Fifth-round pick

You can follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at [email protected]!

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