The Philadelphia Eagles decision to sign pro bowl running back LeSean McCoy to a new five-year $45 million contract extension with over $20 guaranteed, was not only smart, it was genius.
When looking at what McCoy brings to table, it is hard to think of a more talented running back currently playing in the NFL, yet McCoy’s deal pales in comparison to that of Adrian Peterson, who received a 7-year $100 million deal, with $36 million guaranteed. Even Chris Johnson received more in guaranteed money, yet of the three backs, a case can be made the McCoy’s is on the one with the most talent and the most upside.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that McCoy is just 23 years old and that the 2012 season will be just his fourth in the NFL. So far the diminutive runner, who played his college ball at Pittsburgh, has taken the league by storm and has a career trajectory that is headed nowhere but up.
Last season, McCoy truly hit his stride, carrying the ball 273 times for 1,309 yards, while also hauling in 48 receptions for 315 yards and racking up 20 total touchdowns but still his best is yet to come.
In a league where the passing game is king, McCoy is the ideal running back. He is one of the few backs in the league that can dominate on all three downs, as he has proven himself to be equally dangerous as both a runner and receiver. In fact, he may be the most dangerous all-purpose threat the game has seen since the days of Marshall Faulk over a decade ago.
McCoy, who is similar to Faulk in body type, build and overall talent, appears to be the second coming of the explosive playmaker as a comparison of each players first three seasons in the league yields eerily similar results. Faulk compiled 2,947 rushing yards, which is slightly less than the 3,026 rushing yards put up by McCoy, their receiving numbers are also similar as Faulk caught 164 passes for 1,475 yards compared to McCoy’s 166 receptions for 1,215 yards.
Touchdown wise, the numbers are the exact same, as each scored 33 touchdowns over their first three seasons, of the 33 total, McCoy had 28 rushing and five receiving, while Faulk had 29 on the ground and four through the air.
Out of all the running backs in the league, McCoy is the most dangerous. No one puts more fear into defenses than “Shady”, who even when bottled up for an entire game, seemingly always finds a way to break off that big run or catch that demoralizes the defense.
While McCoy may not be on Faulk’s level just yet, he certainly has the skills to get there and from this perspective he is already the most dangerous running back in the game today, therefore the $45 million invested by the Eagles will seem relatively cheap, especially if McCoy’s knack for explosive players help Philly finally win the Super Bowl.