LeSean McCoy is one of the most productive running backs of his generation.
He’s one of only two backs in NFL history with 10,000 rushing yards, a 4.5 career rushing average and 400 receptions. He’s probably another solid year and a half away from making an awfully compelling case for the Hall of Fame.
The body of work he’s put together since 2009 is staggering.
Six Pro Bowls. Six 1,000-yard rushing seasons. More yards from scrimmage than anybody else since he entered the league in 2009.
He became the all-time leading rusher in Eagles history before his 27th birthday.
He’s done it all. Just don’t expect him to do it again here.
It’s almost unimaginable to think the Eagles would trade for McCoy. I know there was a report out of Buffalo that said they were interested, but it makes no sense and honestly I’d be absolutely stunned if it happens.
You have to start with Howie Roseman, who was the Eagles’ general manager from 2010 through 2014 and again since 2016.
What have we learned from watching Howie over the last decade?
He never allocates significant resources for running backs. Howie comes from the school that says you spend money on offensive line, defensive line and quarterback and fill in the pieces at other positions with capable pros, often late-round picks or undrafted guys.
Think about it. In Roseman’s eight years as general manager, the Eagles haven’t drafted a running back in the first three rounds, and they haven’t signed a free agent running back to a big-money deal.
Roseman likes fifth-round picks like Wendell Smallwood. Undrafted rookies like Corey Clement. Free agent bargains like LeGarrette Blount. Even Jay Ajayi was a bargain when the Eagles acquired him, still on his rookie fifth-round contract.
What was one of the first moves Howie made when he replaced Chip Kelly? Trading high-priced, under-achieving DeMarco Murray.
And it makes sense. Why invest a fortune on a position that has such a short shelf life? Where injuries claim so many careers prematurely?
Which brings us to Shady.
Incredible talent. But let’s look at him through Howie’s lens:
• McCoy is 30 years old, and Roseman as a rule is going to stay away from older backs. The Eagles did sign LeGarrette Blount last year soon after his 30th birthday, but he had a $1.25 million cap number and just a one-year deal, and even so his production decreaed as the year went on.
• McCoy has a $8.95 million cap figure this year that the Eagles would absorb a big chunk of if they acquired him, along with a $9.05 million figure next year that the Eagles would be responsible for if they acquired him. That’s a significant amount of money for a team with major cap issues, especially one that as a rule does not pay running backs.
• It’s hard to imagine Roseman shipping anything but a very late-round pick or picks for any player in his 30s, especially a running back. If the published reports that the Bills are seeking a second- and third-round pick are accurate, it’s unthinkable for Howie to make that deal. Draft picks are treasures for Howie. Especially premium ones. Those hopefully turn into starters you’ll have for the next decade. Heck, McCoy only cost the Eagles a second-round pick in 2009. Are they going to spend more on him nine years later in the twilight of his career?
• McCoy’s production is down. He averaged a career-low 4.0 yards per carry last year and is down to 3.8 this year. The Bills don’t have a high-powered passing game, so defenses can make it hard for him. But through 2016, McCoy had a 4.8 average. Since 2016 that figure is 3.9.
• The Eagles really like Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement. Both are capable as runners and out of the backfield, and both have played at a high level. Smallwood has 246 yards from scrimmage on 35 touches this year (7.0 yards per touch), Clement has 186 yards on 35 touches (5.3 yards per touch) and McCoy has 234 yards on 55 touches (4.3 yards per touch). Smallwood and Clement are much younger, much cheaper and know the offense.
• Then there’s the intangibles. McCoy was never charged with a crime after allegations were made against him regarding an assault and robbery in suburban Atlanta involving his ex-girlfriend. But locker room fit and culture fit are very important to the Eagles, and they would certainly have to do their due diligence before even thinking about bringing him back into the fold.
Add it all up, and it’s doesn’t add up. It’s just not a Howie Roseman type of move.