Despite the team signing T.J. Yeldon and drafting Devin Singletary from Florida Atlantic, Bills general manager Brandon Beane gave McCoy a vote of confidence Friday night. "We truly followed our draft board and took the best players available. LeSean McCoy is still here and here's our starting running back," said Beane.
McCoy now has a herd of running backs behind him, including future Hall of Fame Frank Gore, to go with Yeldon, Singletary, Marcus Murphy and others. He'll certainly be the team's No. 1 back entering training camp, but there's a lot of tread on McCoy's tires (he turns 31 this summer) and the Bills will certainly be sprinkling in others in a number of roles this coming season.
Given that McCoy will turn 31 this summer and Gore is 36, it'd be a shock if the Bills didn't take a running back in the upcoming draft, though the plan is also to let McCoy be the main back once again. Marcus Murphy is also in the position group, but he's unproven and appears slotted for a modest number of looks while the two veterans do their thing. Finally, Senorise Perry was signed this week, but he's almost exclusively a special-teams guy. McCoy is coming off his worst season as a pro with just 514 rushing yards on a 3.2 YPC, but the Bills did beef up their offensive line in free agency and should remain a run-oriented team.
McCoy said the NFL is still investigating a July incident involving an attack against his ex-girlfriend at a home he owns in the Atlanta area, ESPN.com's Mike Rodak reports.
McCoy maintains his innocence after being accused of orchestrating the attack. Meanwhile, Bills general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott have both said they expect the 30-year-old running back to stay with the team for 2019, apparently unfazed by the July accusations or his career-worst season in 2018. The team could quickly change its tune if McCoy ultimately faces legal consequences and/or NFL discipline.
Bills general manager Brandon Beane reiterated Monday that McCoy is part of the team's plan for 2019, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com reports. "LeSean will come back in 2019 and we'll go from there," Beane said.
Rather than angling for a pay cut, the Bills have repeatedly gone out of their way to support McCoy, with Beane and coach Sean McDermott both making similar comments in recent weeks. It's an implicit admission the offensive line was a complete disaster, as there's no other justification for retaining a 30-year-old running back with a non-guaranteed $6.43 million salary coming off a season with 3.2 yards per carry, 5.2 yards per target and three touchdowns in 14 games. The circumstances this season obviously were difficult, but it's hard to see why the Bills have no hesitation about making him one of the better-compensated running backs in the league yet again.
McCoy rushed 10 times for 26 yards and a touchdown while catching two of three targets for 18 yards in Sunday's 42-17 win over the Dolphins. He finishes the season with 514 yards and three touchdowns on 161 carries, along with 238 yards on 34 catches.
Buffalo could save $3.8 million of the $6.425 million owed McCoy next season by cutting the 30-year-old running back, and that option will at least receive consideration after his production fell off a cliff this season. There are no immediate replacements on the roster, however, so perhaps he'll be back in a starting role with the team next year after all. Either way, you should have no problem snagging him in the later rounds come draft day next season.
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