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LeSean McCoy announces retirement from NFL

Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Drew Hallowell/Philadelphia Eagles/Getty Images

Former Pitt running back LeSean McCoy announced his retirement from the NFL on Thursday morning, ending any speculation about a return by revealing that he will sign a one-day contract with the Philadelphia Eagles and bring his career to a close.

“After 12 years in the NFL, I’ve decided to retire an Eagle because this is home to me,” McCoy said in a statement. “I’m retiring because I’m at peace mentally. The only regret I’ve ever had was not spending my entire career as an Eagle.”

“I look at guys like Jason Kelce and Larry Fitzgerald, lifelong friends of mine, who spent their whole career with one team,” he added. “I grew up in Harrisburg, played my college football at Pittsburgh, and was drafted by the Eagles. I never thought it would have been like that, but it would have been so cool to finish my career only having played in this one state.”

The announcement marks the end of a career that began in Philadelphia in 2009 and included stops in Buffalo, Kansas City and Tampa afterward. McCoy was a member of two teams that won Super Bowls but did not play a significant role in either victory. However, he was vital to the Buffalo Bills’ rise to prominence as the feature back on the first Bills team to reach the playoffs since the turn of the century during the 2017 season.

Unfortunately, that proved to be the swan song of McCoy’s career, as his role with the Bills diminished in 2018, prompting him to join the Chiefs in 2019. But what the scat back will be remembered for moving forward is his electric play with the Eagles during the 2010s, which earned him first-team All-Pro honors in 2011 and 2013 in addition to six trips to the Pro Bowl between 2011 and 2017. During that span, McCoy led the league in rushing yards one season and rushing touchdowns another, and his contributions to the league earned him a spot on the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team.

McCoy’s place on that honorary team was well earned, as he was the most accomplished running back of that period. During the 2010s, the former Pitt star amassed 10,434 rushing yards and 2,755 touches, leading the NFL in both categories. McCoy also led all running backs in the 2010s with 13,923 scrimmage yards and 85 total touchdowns.

All told, McCoy finished his career with 11,102 rushing yards and 73 touchdowns on the ground. McCoy's rushing yardage total ranks 22nd in NFL history but fell short of his stated goal of 12,000 yards, a mark that he believed would improve his odds of enshrinement in Canton. However, McCoy was also useful as a receiver out of the backfield, and he amassed 15,000 yards from scrimmage as well as 89 total touchdowns during his career.

With all that said, McCoy is not viewed as a lock for the Hall of Fame and has been described by many as a fringe candidate. But a strong case can certainly be made for him based on his achievements in Philadelphia and Buffalo, his distinctive style of play, and his status as the Eagles’ all-time leading rusher, with 6,792 rushing yards accrued in six years with the NFC East franchise. McCoy will be eligible for enshrinement in 2026.