In his first three seasons, former Pitt running back Lesean McCoy has established himself as one of the best running backs in the NFL. Now that he's entering the final year of his current contract, he could be paid like one.
McCoy clearly is near the top of the league at his position. He's topped 1,000 yards each of the past two seasons and last year, had more than 1,300 to go along with 20 touchdowns. One of the things that makes Shady great, though, is his ability to catch balls out of the backfield. If you're a fantasy football junkie, you know that already. McCoy's averaged just over 55 catches each season and is a handful for NFL defenses.
So does McCoy deserve to be paid among the elite running backs in the league? At least one running back thinks so.
My sense is no. My sense is McCoy is better equipped emotionally than Jackson to keep contract matters from consuming him. It's Todd Herremans' sense as well, and who knows a running back better than the guys who open holes for him?
"Who knows how it's going to work out down the road, but I don't even know if Shady would be that type of player," Herremans said a couple of weeks ago in an interview on 97.5 The Fanatic with Mike Missanelli.
"He loves being in the locker room. He loves hanging around the guys. He's going to take care of what he needs to do."
They reportedly offered him about $6 million a year, but that hasn't done it so far. So the question is: Do the Eagles need McCoy?While an Insider writer for the Eagles' official site says they're better with him, he questions if another former Pitt player could step in if need be:
The backup running back at this point is Dion Lewis, who I happen to think is a rising player in this league. I think Lewis can give the Eagles 5 to 7 touches every week and provide greatly to the offense. Could he carry the offense as a lead running back should something happen to McCoy? That, I don't know. Lewis has not yet been in that position in the NFL.
To me, you've got to sign Shady. This isn't a back who's even approaching 30 yet, it's a 23-year old who probably won't even be in his prime for another couple of seasons. McCoy's been too good to let walk at this point and while Lewis may be able to handle the load, is it worth gambling at this point?
Plus he's been an absolute bargain with his rookie contract. He's only set to make about $600,000 this year, so the Eagles have really made out on the deal the past few years.
I've got to expect this will only end with him in Philly.