As tantalizing as it would be to bring back LeSean McCoy, it makes no sense
Howie Roseman righted one of Chip Kelly’s wrongs when he traded for receiver DeSean Jackson this past offseason.
Now, the Eagles general manager has the opportunity to right another Kelly wrong and bring back running back LeSean McCoy.
McCoy will be released today by the Buffalo Bills and immediately become a free agent. He is the Eagles all-time leading rusher, piling up 6,792 career yards from 2009, when he was the team’s second-round draft pick out of the University of Pittsburgh, through 2014.
It was during that offseason when Kelly traded McCoy to Buffalo in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso, who, ironically, will also be released today by the Miami Dolphins.
McCoy still owns the Eagles’ all-time single season rushing total of 1,607 yards from 2013, when he also ran for nine touchdowns. His 44 career touchdowns in Philly leaves him third on the franchise’s list, one behind Wilbert Montgomery and 25 behind Steve Van Buren.
In four seasons in Buffalo, McCoy ran for another 3,814 yards and tacked on another 25 touchdowns.
He has been a solid pass catcher, too, with 300 receptions for the Eagles for 2,282 yards. Only two running backs in Eagles history have done better: Brian Westbrook (107-3,790) and Keith Byars (105-3,532).
So imagine McCoy back in Philly’ Roseman righting another Kelly wrong.
But don’t get too carried away with the thought, because it probably doesn’t make any sense.
Getting Jackson back made sense. The Eagles needed a burner receiver and, at age 32, Jackson can still cook.
McCoy’s numbers went into a steep decline last year, when he ran for a career-low 514 yards with a career-low 3.2 yards per carry.
Maybe injuries played a hand in that, especially considering he was coming off a season in 2017 when he collected 1,138 yards on the ground with six touchdowns and adding another 59 catches for 448 yards and two touchdowns.
Maybe age did, too. McCoy is now 31.
He has 2,821 touches. That’s a lot of pounding and sooner or later that kind of wear and tear catches up to you.
If the Eagles’ backfield situation was murky, then, sure bring in McCoy. That is not the case, though.
The Eagles’ backfield is a strength, so much so that the team will likely waive two players later today who helped this team wins games in the past: Wendell Smallwood and Josh Adams.
That will leave the Eagles with Jordan Howard, who is just 24 and, unlike McCoy, figures to have his best days still ahead of him, rookie Miles Sanders, who impressed throughout summer, veteran Darren Sproles, and probably Corey Clement.
The Eagles needed McCoy last year, when they reportedly tried to acquire him in a trade. They probably could have used him two years ago, when, again they reportedly tried to trade for him, but got Jay Ajayi instead.
I believe McCoy still has something left to give, but he is for a team desperate at the running back position. Like the Houston Texans. Or maybe his old coach, Andy Reid, gives him a shot in Kansas City.
Heck, maybe even Jerry Jones decides to further drive a wedge between the Cowboys team he owns and Ezekiel Elliott, who is looking for more money and not expected to play for the foreseeable future.
McCoy will be inducted into the Eagles’ Ring of Honor at some point when he retires.
His legacy in Philly is secure.
While it would be nice to see him add to that, it simply does not make sense.