As news spread that the Eagles' star running back had been traded, head coach Chip Kelly spoke at an event hosted by the Katz JCC in Cherry Hill.
The Comcast Sports Network’s broadcast of the hockey contest between the Philadelphia Flyers and Calgary Flames was interrupted on Tuesday evening by the sportscasters announcing a rumor that Eagles star running back, LeSean McCoy, had been traded to the Buffalo Bills.
You read that correctly.
McCoy, who established himself as Pro Bowl-caliber player during his six seasons with the Eagles that included winning the NFL rushing title two years ago, was apparently a salary cap casualty. His salary cap number was close to $12 million for 2015, although he had said previously that he was willing to discuss restructuring his deal.
According to the deal, the Eagles in return are receiving Kiko Alonso, a third-year linebacker who had a successful rookie season in 2013 — he was voted Defensive Rookie of the Year by the Pro Football Writers' Association — but is coming off an ACL injury from last season. Alonso played his college football at the University of Oregon, where Kelly coached before taking over the Eagles in 2013. He has been accused by some of accruing former Oregon players and this latest acquisition will only add fuel to the fire.
So where was Kelly when the rumor caused a seismic reaction on Twitter and dominated sports headlines? At the Katz Jewish Community Center in Cherry Hill, where he was serving as the keynote speaker at the JCC’s 5th annual Sports Award Dinner.
The coincidence momentarily placed the JCC in the national spotlight as reporters dug for a scoop on the trade from the Eagles coach.
But Kelly stayed away from discussing the trade rumors.
"When Chip gave his keynote address last night, there were no mentions of the LeSean McCoy trade rumor or any other current news regarding the Eagles," Stephanie Dworkin, the center's assistant director of marketing, wrote in an email to the Jewish Exponent. "Kelly spoke about the inspiring impact that sports has had on his life and shared some stories of his favorite football moments."
Dworkin added that proceeds from the event, which was open to the public, will go toward providing financial assistance and services for children of all ages and abilities.