Buffalo Bills extend RB LeSean McCoy

When the Bills swapped Kiko Alonso for LeSean McCoy earlier this week, a lot of people didn’t get it. After all, McCoy is a better player than Alonso. While that might be true, it could easily not be a true a year or two from now, as Alonso is going into his age 25 season and McCoy is going into his age 27 season at a position with a very short careerspan. Then there’s the issue of money. McCoy was owed 24.5 million over the final 3 seasons of his deal, while Alonso was owed 1.7 million over the final 2 seasons of his deal, with an option to be signed cheaply for 2017 as well as a restricted free agent.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the Bills made matters worse by ripping up McCoy’s original deal and replacing it with a 5-year, 40 million dollar deal with 26.25 million guaranteed. They kind of had to do that, as McCoy was not happy about being traded to Buffalo, but it’s still way too much money. If McCoy plays like he did in 2013 for each of the next 3 seasons, he’ll be worth that 26.25 million guaranteed, but that’s doubtful and not just because of his age.

That 2013 season is the only season he’s ever graded out above 10th on Pro Football Focus among running backs. He’s a good running back with one great season on his resume. He’s not a great running back. Given how much the running back position has been devalued in the NFL, I’m not even sure McCoy would have gotten this kind of deal if he was a free agent this off-season. The Bills are giving him this deal AND giving up a promising young linebacker for him. It’s going to backfire long-term for a team that needs to retain Jerry Hughes and Marcell Dareus long-term and add to an offensive line that ranked 32nd on Pro Football Focus in run blocking last season. For comparison, Philadelphia ranked 1st. McCoy can’t be happy about that. Maybe that’s why he demanded this extension.

Grade: D




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