Could New Deal Be The End For LeSean McCoy?
The Philadephia Eagles and running back LeSean McCoy just agreed to a new, five-year deal worth about $45 million. That’s cause for celebration in the McCoy part, and likely for the Eagles, as well.
However, if we’re going off of history, it may not be reason to jump for joy in fantasy football leagues.
There’s no denying McCoy’s value and potential. He’s done a stellar job since taking over for Brian Westbrook two seasons ago, and put up a career high 1,309 rushing yards and 20 total touchdowns in 2011.
Michael Vick was supposed to be the guy defenses were afraid of. Instead, McCoy was the driving forced behind Philly’s offense.
But there is cause for concern with McCoy’s new deal, as many top running backs have been hurt or dropped their level of play upon signing a brand new deal. There are dream stories like Emmitt Smith, who held out and missed two games one year, only to dominate in the other 14 games.
However, there are other stories that aren’t so encouraging:
Marion Barber flopped in Dallas after signing a crazy seven-year, $45 million deal.
Larry Johnson got his cash back in 2007 (six years, $45 million), and proceeded to fade away.
Edgerrin James left Indianapolis for Carolina and signed a four-year, $30 million deal. He didn’t last too long after that.
Even Adrian Peterson got a new deal in 2011, and then he blew out his knee in week 16.
The point is, running backs aren’t all that durable, and then can conveniently breakdown once they get paid. Maybe there’s something subconscious there, that the body breathes a sigh of relief – knowing the money is now in the bank and an injury would no longer mean financial insecurity.
McCoy doesn’t have the wear and tear of Larry Johnson and he’s not as old as Edgerrin James was when he signed with Arizona. He’s also more talented, younger, and in better shape than Barber was. He’s probably on the same level as Peterson in most respects, but that’s probably the most troubling comparison.
In the end, he’ll probably be fine for 2012 and at least a couple more years after that. But it’s at least worth noting that he might not be.