LeSean McCoy is coming off an outstanding 2011 season in which he eclipsed the Philadelphia Eagles single season touchdown record with a total of 20. McCoy is a young buck as well, turning only 24 years old (July 12th) before the 2012 campaign begins.
Entering the last year of his rookie contract, McCoy is slated to earn $615,00. It seems the Eagles have the same quandary with LeSean as they had with disgruntled wide receiver DeSean Jackson: having a young pro-bowl team member play one year on a severely under paid contract or re-structure the contract to a lucrative, long-term deal?
The Eagles decided to forgo extending DeSean Jackson, having him play out his rookie contract. For the 2012 season, the Eagles slapped the franchise tag on Jackson, securing him for at least one more year. LeSean McCoy’s situation may be similar to Jacksons, however, myself and, most likely, the Eagles see it differently.
LeSean McCoy is one of the top three half-back in today’s NFL. Last year, McCoy compiled 1309 rushing yards, on 4.8 yards per carry, along with his 17 rushing touchdowns. Additionally, McCoy caught 48 balls for 315 yards with three touchdowns. In fact, McCoy is the only player in NFL history with 3,000 rushing yards, 150 catches and a 4.8 rushing average in his first three seasons. Those are numbers an organization simply can not ignore. McCoy must get paid.
To give you an example of what a quality running back in NFL earns, look at Carolina Panthers, DeAngelo Williams. Last year, the Panthers paid Williams $43 million over five years, with $16 million up front. DeAngelo Williams is good; LeSean McCoy is better.
Running backs in the NFL typically have a short shelf life. McCoy is young enough that the Eagles should not hesitate to offer a four/five year deal. The Eagles are one of the best at maneuvering the salary cap. McCoy is too important a piece in the Eagles explosive offensive attack. Furthermore, McCoy makes the Eagles a more balanced offense.
The decision to ink LeSean McCoy is a no-brainer. Do the Eagles have the audacity to sign McCoy, while merely franchising DeSean Jackson? I think any Eagles fan knows the answer to that……DeSean is going to find out that having a terrific, team-oriented attitude does go a long way.