After trading two players who were among the best on their roster in wide receiver Sammy Watkins and cornerback Ronald Darby earlier this month, the Bills look like a team in the midst of a rebuild. As such, speculation that the Bills could shop their top player, 29-year-old running back LeSean McCoy, has come to the fore recently. That reportedly isn’t going to happen, though, and McCoy said Thursday that general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott have told him as much.
“There’s no trade talks,” McCoy informed reporters, including Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. “I talked to my coaches. I talked to Sean and Brandon, the GM. I have a lot of respect for the guys. We had a great conversation. I’ll leave it at that. One thing about it is everybody can have their own opinions or make up things. Nowadays with social media, everything is blown out of proportion.”
The Bills have gone just 15-17 since acquiring McCoy from the Eagles in March 2015 and, thanks in part to their recent future-oriented trades and the abrupt retirement of Anquan Boldin, look like shoo-ins to miss the playoffs for an NFL-worst 18th straight year in 2017. But McCoy insisted Thursday that the team is aiming to contend this season, and that he’s content to remain in Buffalo.
“They’re all in to win,” he said. “We’re a team and that’s what we’re trying to do. I feel like I’m one of the key guys here. I don’t want to leave. Buffalo embraced me with open arms and they took me in.”
A four-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro in Philadelphia, McCoy has remained a premier weapon with the long-struggling Bills. He made his second Pro Bowl in as many years in Buffalo last season, when he ranked third in the NFL in yards per carry (5.4) and fourth in rushing touchdowns (13) during a 234-attempt, 1,267-yard campaign. He also amassed 50 receptions, giving him at least that many in a season for the fourth time in his nine-year career.
It’s apparent McCoy’s 10th season will be spent in Buffalo, which can control him through the 2019 campaign on the five-year, $40.05MM deal it awarded him in 2015. He had been the league’s highest-paid back on a multiyear deal until the Falcons’ Devonta Freeman inked a five-year, $41.25MM extension earlier this month.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.