The Philadelphia Eagles and running back LeSean McCoy have agreed to a 5-year contract extension worth $45 million. The deal makes McCoy a Philadelphia Eagle until the 2017 season and includes over $20 million guaranteed.
Last season, McCoy was the one consistent player on an otherwise unpredictable, and often unproductive, Eagles’ offense and emerged as one of the top running backs in the NFL. Due in large part to his ability to elude defenders by moving laterally, McCoy broke the franchise record for rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns in a season by collecting 17 touchdowns on the ground and 20 total (both records were held by Hall of Famer Steve Van Buren who had 15 rushing touchdowns and 18 overall in 1945). Since his debut three years ago, McCoy has continued to take on a larger role in the Philadelphia offense and it appears he will be a central piece for years to come.
The deal seems to be a win-win for the Eagles and McCoy. As a running back who has continued to get better each season and was among the top rushers in the league last season, McCoy deserved an extension worth a lot of money. Furthermore, the Eagles have made large investments in players such as Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson, and McCoy is the final piece to what could be a very explosive offense.
The one flaw in the deal could be the fact that it stretches over 5 years. With McCoy turning 24 in July, it means he will be 29 at the end of his contract and the magic number for running backs seems to be 30. After the age of 30, and sometimes even a year or two earlier, running backs who have had a significant workload each season have seen a drop off in production. In the NFL, running backs take a pounding each week and smaller backs, such as McCoy, are at an even higher risk of wearing down quickly.
With that being said, I still believe this is a good deal. As mentioned, McCoy will be 29, not 30, so it is more likely that he will be able to perform fairly well even in the last year of his contract. Furthermore, the Eagles, and Andy Reid in particular, seem to have a limited window to win a Super Bowl. This could very well be, and should be, Andy Reid’s last season if he does not win a Super Bowl. With a great deal of pressure on the team, it is crucial that they have the best offensive player from last season playing without any distractions. Finally, McCoy has proven to be equally explosive offensively as wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who received a long-term contract earlier in the off-season. Since McCoy has been less of a distraction and a more consistent performer, it is only logical that he receive a long-term contract.
The future certainly looks bright for the young running back out of the University of Pittsburgh. With a big contract secured, McCoy can focus on playing football as a Philadelphia Eagle for years to come and winning a Super Bowl.