Word circulated recently about where All-Pro running back LeSean “Shady” McCoy might land after whispers about him being headed toward the trading block started to surface.
McCoy, 29, has been a star running back for the Buffalo Bills NFL franchise since 2015. Last season, he put up numbers that were more comparable to the days when he rushed the rock for his hometown Philadelphia Eagles. In a Bills uniform during 15 games in the 2016-17 season, McCoy racked up 1,267 yards on the ground.
The swift and elusive rusher averaged 5.4 yards per carry and also caught the ball in pass plays for 356 more yards. McCoy only fumbled the ball last season three times. That type of production out of a back in his late 20s is more than what any head coach in the NFL could ask for. It’s certainly what the Eagles fan base would love to have back home.
However, in the 2014-15 season, a former college head coach for the Oregon Ducks named Chip Kelly happened to the Philadelphia Eagles. Kelly took over as the team’s head coach after former NFL coaching legend Andy Reid bolted to Kansas City, Missouri to run the Chiefs NFL franchise.
For whatever reason, Kelly saw fit to prioritize a former Bills linebacker named Kiko Alonso over McCoy’s hearty contract. Plus, Kelly’s fast-paced spread offensive scheme did not place a great deal of responsibility on running backs to make plays on the ground. Needless to say, McCoy and the Eagles parted ways soon after Kelly took over.
McCoy was not pleased with the outcome, which forced him to leave the Eagles franchise. He had some of his best years in Philly, including multiple trips to the Pro Bowl. Many football experts have agreed that McCoy was considered to be a top-five running back at some point in his career.
So when the trade rumors started to swirl, many fans and wishful thinking analysts toyed around with the idea of McCoy returning to Philadelphia to finish his career as an Eagle. Hope for a reunion tour was also held out when former Eagles receiver Jeremy Macklin was cut from the Kansas City Chiefs. Macklin is now a Baltimore Raven.
Though fans like to dream, the reality is that the NFL is a business. McCoy is clearly still good enough to be a starting running back in the NFL. The Eagles have their starter already in LaGarrette Blount, the former New England Patriots power rusher who was acquired in the most recent offseason.
If McCoy is able to gain enough leverage to wiggle out of his current contractual situation with the Bills (which he is reportedly not happy with), he will definitely land somewhere on a team where he can start right away if he stays healthy.
However, McCoy may definitely be a Hall of Famer one day on the strength of the franchise records he broke while donning an Eagles uniform.