All hell broke loose yesterday after an Instagram post by Lesean McCoy was translated to him being cut by the Bills. You’ve probably seen it, but just in case you haven’t
This post was actually edited. Originally it just said “thanks for everything Buffalo”, later he added the “yesterday at the signing”.
So he’s still with the Bills, but speculation continues as to whether he could be released by the team. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk explains why it would it would make sense for Buffalo to move on:
McCoy has a salary of $6 million and a cap number of $8.875 million in 2017. Those numbers have sparked speculation that the next coaching staff may decide to move on from him. Cutting him would result in a cap charge of $7.875 million; that amount could be spread over two years with a post-June 1 release.
Two years ago, the Eagles decided to move on from McCoy, ostensibly because his east-west style didn’t mesh with Chip Kelly’s one-cut zone running scheme. New offensive coordinator Rick Dennison uses a system that employs one-cut zone running. (Last year, McCoy thrived once Anthony Lynn became the offensive coordinator, installing running plays that gave McCoy options to hit an inside hole or bounce outside.)
So while this feels like a hypothetical sports radio conversation (talk to you tonight from 6-10 on 94WIP), McCoy actually has a chance of being released. I don’t think it’s likely, but there is certainly a chance.
So we all know where the conversation goes from here and it was discussed and debated two weeks ago with both DeSean and LeSean potentially reuniting in green. As it stands right now, I don’t believe either end up with the Eagles. DeSean’s value on the open market could price him out of the Eagles plans, but if LeSean becomes available, why not pursue him too?
LeSean is still a very productive starish running back. After rebounding from a injury riddled 2015, he bounced back for an extremely productive 2016, rushing for 1267 yards (5.4 per carry) and 13 touchdowns, while only missing one game due to injury. He also had 50 catches for 356 yards and an other TD. That’s over 1600 all purpose yards and 14 TD’s, an excellent year. So why shouldn’t the Eagles pursue McCoy?
It’s all about the dollars….and common sense. If he was released by the Bills, McCoy would be in high demand and his price tag would be pretty high for a 29 year old running back who has dealt with soft tissues injuries for most of his career. Adding McCoy would make much more sense for a playoff type team that could be a dynamic running back away from a Super Bowl run. How cool would it be to see Shady on the Oakland Raiders? With a dozen or so teams that could have interest, it’s hard to imagine that he’d be a good value.
Here’s the most important reason why the Eagles shouldn’t pursue McCoy if he became available: they have way too many other needs. NFL GM’s don’t value the running back like some other positions and there is good reason for that. You can find quality and productive running backs deep in the draft. Of the top 10 rushers in 2016, only one was drafted in the 1st round (Ezekiel Elliot) and two were drafted on the 2nd round (McCoy and Le’Veon Bell). The other 7 players were drafted in the in the mid-to-late rounds or not drafted at all. The Bears Jordan Howard was selected in the 5th round just last year and he was 2nd in the league in rushing in his rookie season.
Rather than spend big money to bring back a guy who might only have a season or two of elite play left in the tank, use a draft pick and get the next great Eagles running back and pay him peanuts for the next 4 or 5 years. Use that money to sign the wide receiver and cornerback that is badly needed. It’d be fun to have Shady back in green, but if the team is building for a Super Bowl run, they’ll pass and focus on the future.