We covered the Stevie Johnson/DeSean Jackson thing earlier today, but there are some other signings going down around the NFL that will likely impact another one of the Eagles’ young offensive stars–LeSean McCoy.
With 25-year-old Arian Foster signing a five-year contract valued at $43.5 million that includes a guaranteed $20.75 million, the Texans and Foster may have set the mark for LeSean McCoy’s next contract.
Foster, who quickly ascended as one of the NFL’s elite running backs since going undrafted out of Tennessee in 2009, ran for 1,224 yards and 10 touchdowns a season ago. But 2010 was Foster’s break out year, one in which he ran for a league best 1,615 yards and gained 2,220 yards from scrimmage.
The Seahawks, meanwhile, have re-signed 25-year-old running back Marshawn Lynch (doesn’t it feel like Lynch is 30-years-old, by the way?) to a four-year contract valued at $31 million with $18 million in guarantees.
Lynch breathed new life into his career in Seattle over the past two seasons, rushing for 1,204 yards and scoring 13 total touchdowns last season.
So what’s this mean for McCoy and the Eagles? The Eagles have a history of signing talented, young players to long-term contracts and McCoy certainly fits that description. McCoy’s contract expires after the 2012 season and surely the Eagles would like to avoid prolonged contract drama similar to that of DeSean Jackson’s situation.
But re-signing McCoy may be a bit tricky. Lynch and Foster are both 25-years-old, while McCoy is only 23-years-old. Age is everything with running backs, and certainly his youth must be factored into a new deal.
McCoy rushed for 1,314 yards last season and scored an astounding 20 total touchdowns, posting better overall numbers than both Lynch and Foster. Foster is regarded by most as the more complete player, but there’s little doubt that McCoy is in the same stratosphere.
There’s no reason for McCoy to give the Eagles a hometown discount and even less reason to think that McCoy wouldn’t strike gold should he make it to the open market at the end of next season; thus, if the Eagles want to retain McCoy, they’re going to have to pay.
From this perspective, the Foster deal is probably a better indicator of what McCoy will get. Any potential deal will probably be for five years and include at least $20-25 million dollars guaranteed. Of course, it’s been proven over the years that quality running backs aren’t hard to find, so the Eagles must decide whether or not they want to dedicate that much pf their financial resources to one position.
At worst case, the Eagles could be facing another offseason in which they are forced to franchise a young star. It coudl be a long, difficult negotiation, but it just seems unlikely they would let McCoy walk away.
So while we’re all fixated on DeSean Jackson and middle linebackers, keep this situation in mind.