The Buffalo Bills released LeSean McCoy after four seasons with the team, (even on cutdown day) considering McCoy was the team's No. 1 running back heading into training camp. McCoy had a career-low 3.2 yards per carry (161 carries for 514 yards and three touchdowns) last season, showing clear signs of being past his prime at 31 years old.
Prior to last season, McCoy had five consecutive Pro Bowl seasons, including back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with the Bills. McCoy has been selected to three Pro Bowls since being traded to the Bills from the Philadelphia Eagles, rushing for 3,814 yards and 25 touchdowns. In 10 NFL seasons, McCoy has 10,606 rushing yards and 69 touchdowns along with 3,616 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns.
McCoy will have suitors that believe he still has some gas left in the task, as there are quite a few teams that need depth at running back. Coming off his worst season, McCoy still wants to prove he can contribute in the NFL. As the Eagles and Bills can attest, a hungry McCoy can help a team win football games.
The Pick Six Podcast broke down the first wave of roster cuts on Friday. Give them a listen below and make sure to subscribe:
What teams should take a look at McCoy? Below are a few candidates that could use the 31-year old's services:
Let's get the obvious team out of the way. The Texans lost Lamar Miller to a torn ACL in the third week of the preseason and can use some depth at running back. Duke Johnson is in line to be the starter, but Texans head coach Bill O'Brien hinted he'll be used in sub-packages similar to how the Cleveland Browns used him. Johnson is in line for more carries and touchdowns in Houston, especially since the Texans traded a third-round pick to get him.
The Texans could use an established veteran like McCoy in their backfield. McCoy has a goal of reaching 12,000 rushing yards and an opportunity to win. He can get both in Houston, certainly getting an opportunity at 10-to-20 touches a game.
The Chargers would be an interesting team to watch for McCoy's services, given Melvin Gordon that appears to be heading into the season. Would McCoy take a risk that Gordon doesn't return, having an opportunity to split carries with Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson. Ekeler started three games in place of Gordon last season, but had 40 carries for 129 yards and a touchdown (3.3 yards per carry), not the same production when he was the backup (5.3 yards per carry in his two seasons).of
If the Chargers were to sign McCoy, he would split carries with Ekeler, but would be the No. 1 back in a running back-by-committee. Ekeler is one of the best change-of-pace backs in the game. Adding McCoy would create a welcome dynamic in the Chargers' ground game, increasing their Super Bowl aspirations.
Tampa Bay has Peyton Barber listed as its No. 1 running back, but Barber doesn't exactly spill confidence as the top option. Barber had 871 yards and five touchdowns starting all 16 games last season, averaging just 3.7 yards per carry. Ronald Jones can't seem to take the job away from Barber, which is a problem for Tampa Bay since Jones was a second-round pick in 2018.
Tampa could use McCoy and his veteran presence in its locker room, splitting carries with Barber and Jones in an attempt to improve the 29th-ranked rushing offense from last year. McCoy could be the No. 1 running back for the Buccaneers, limiting Barber's touches while still giving Jones an opportunity to prove himself in the NFL.
The 49ers seem content at running back, having options to replace Jerick McKinnon after he was placed on injured reserve from suffering a setback rehabbing from his torn ACL. San Francisco did sign Tevin Coleman at a good price this offseason and have Matt Breida, who averaged 5.3 yards per carry starting 13 games (814 yards and three touchdowns).
McCoy would be a nice veteran to have with the young group of running backs, but the 49ers also like Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson. If the 49ers sign McCoy, Wilson likely would be the odd man out. Not sure the 49ers would want to give him up.
The Colts would be an interesting spot for McCoy, even through they have a No. 1 running back in Marlon Mack (908 yards, nine touchdowns, 4.8 yards per carry). Indianapolis may look to rely on the run game more now that Andrew Luck retired, giving Mack and Nyheim Hines (314 yards, two touchdowns, 3.8 yards per carry) more carries to ease the pressure off Jacoby Brissett.
McCoy would add a veteran presence in the Colts running back group and would spell Mack, as the Colts would prefer to limit his workload. The Colts don't need McCoy, but he would be a nice luxury.
The Packers have a No. 1 running back in Aaron Jones, who led the NFL with 5.5 yards per carry (728 yards, eight touchdowns) in eight starts. Jones has been injury prone his first two seasons, which is where McCoy comes in.
McCoy could spell Jones in place of Jamaal Williams (career 3.7 yards per carry average in two seasons) and be available for 15 to 20 carries a game if Jones does suffer an injury. The Packers have taken chances on veteran players in the past, which have suited them well.