LeSean McCoy

AFC West Notes: Chiefs, McCoy, Raiders

Let’s take a quick spin around the AFC West:

  • Chiefs running back LeSean McCoy has settled a lawsuit with his former girlfriend in which she accused him of orchestrating an attack against her in 2018, according to a report from the Associated Press. Delicia Gordon claimed McCoy failed to protect her from being robbed, bloodied, and beaten in a July incident, and later revised her lawsuit to allege McCoy abused her and organized the assault. McCoy, for his part, has denied the allegations, never been charged with a crime, and was never suspended or placed on the commissioner’s exempt list by the NFL.
  • The Raiders could potentially be without one of their best offensive players when they face the Titans on Sunday. Rookie running back Josh Jacobs recently indicated on Snapchat that he’s been playing through a fractured shoulder, and he’s now missed consecutive practices, per Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com (Twitter link). With Oakland’s postseason odds dwindling (11%, per FiveThirtyEight), the Raiders could opt to hold Jacobs out. Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington would be in line for more work if Jacobs missed Week 14.
  • In case you missed it, the Chiefs placed running back Darrell Williams on injured reserve this week and replaced him by signing old friend Spencer Ware.
  • Broncos edge rusher Von Miller may miss another game while nursing a hamstring strain. Miller previously hadn’t been sidelined for a contest since tearing his ACL in 2013.

AFC West Notes: McCoy, Bolles, Joseph

The Chiefs listed running back LeSean McCoy as a healthy scratch for their 35-32 loss to the Titans as part of a predetermined schedule to rest him, according to James Palmer of NFL.com. Without McCoy, Damien Williams received a larger portion of snaps and had a costly fumble in the team’s upset loss.

Given the outcome Kansas City may have second thoughts about their decision, but the organization wants to have McCoy as fresh as possible for the last season and playoff push. At 6-4, the Chiefs remain atop the AFC West and will hope McCoy can make up for their loss in future contributions.

Here’s some more from around the AFC West:

  • Left tackle Garett Bolles has struggled mightily for the Broncos this season. In his weekly mailbag, Ryan O’Hallaran of The Denver Post explained that the early-season injury to right tackle Ja’Wuan James might have saved his job. James’ injury forced swing tackle Elijah Wilkinson into full-time duty and left Denver without a solid Plan B behind Bolles. If James finds his way back onto the field, Wilkinson may be able to push for snaps on the opposite side of the line.
  • Safety Karl Joseph had begun establishing himself as a difference-maker in the Raiders secondary this season before he suffered a season-ending injury. With his contract set to expire at the end of the season, the Raiders might have been inclined to negotiate an extension. However, given the uncertainty surrounding his health, Jerry McDonald of The Mercury News expects the team to let him hit free-agency this season and try to re-sign him at market value.

Chiefs Notes: Hill, Fisher, Williams, McCoy

Tyreek Hill‘s three-year, $54MM Chiefs extension comes with a host of conditions that protect the team, and more Chiefs-friendly stipulations in the controversial wide receiver’s deal have come to light. The All-Pro talent received $22MM-plus in full guarantees, but this contract would allow the Chiefs to void those if any additional trouble comes Hill’s way, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports. Were Hill to be suspended or placed on the commissioner’s exempt list at any point, his guarantees will void. Hill’s fully guaranteed figure ranks behind 11 wideouts’, including Sammy Watkins‘ $30MM.

The Chiefs have made this a year-to-year proposition, with Hill’s deal calling for league-minimum base salaries from 2019-21. The bulk of this deal’s money stands to come via bonuses. Hill has a $15.2MM roster bonus for the 2020 season, but JLC notes that money is not due until February 2021 — near the end of the 2020 league year. This would allow the team to avoid that bonus payment, should Hill encounter more off-field issues. The same structure is in place in 2021, with a $9.75MM roster bonus due in February 2022. The Chiefs hold an option for Hill’s 2022 season.

Hill pleaded guilty to striking his pregnant girlfriend, Crystal Espinal, while at Oklahoma State and fell to the fifth round as a result. The Chiefs were set to negotiate what would almost certainly have been a more player-friendly deal in March of this year, but Hill’s ensuing trouble (for which he was not suspended) sidetracked those plans and led to this complex contract.

Here is the latest out of Kansas City:

  • Eric Fisher will miss his first start in six years on Sunday. The Chiefs left tackle underwent core muscle surgery this week in Philadelphia, Adam Teicher of ESPN.com tweets. Fisher, who suffered a groin injury in practice last week but started against the Raiders, will miss Sunday’s game against the Ravens and likely more time as he recovers. He has not been placed on IR. Cam Erving will start at left tackle against the Ravens, though Andy Reid has said standout right tackle Mitchell Schwartz could move to the left edge if need be. The 2013 No. 1 overall pick, Fisher has not missed a start since his rookie season.
  • Damien Williams has now missed two practices with a knee injury, pointing to either a Week 3 absence or a game-time decision. Making matters more complicated for the three-time defending AFC West champions, LeSean McCoy is also battling an injury. Shady is dealing with ankle trouble and did not practice Wednesday. He looks to have a better chance of playing Sunday, however. The Chiefs have Darrel Williams and rookie Darwin Thompson on their roster as well.
  • The Chiefs are one of a few teams that have made “substantive inquiries” on Jalen Ramsey.

Chiefs Sign LeSean McCoy

LeSean McCoy‘s stay on the open market didn’t last long. Released by the Bills yesterday, Shady immediately drew interest from four teams, and as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports, McCoy will sign with the Chiefs. Terez A. Paylor of Yahoo! Sports says it will be a one-year, $3MM pact with incentives that can increase the value to $4MM (Twitter link).

Paylor adds in a separate tweet that the Chargers offered McCoy a similar contract, but McCoy opted to head to Kansas City due to his familiarity with head coach Andy Reid and the club’s front office. McCoy spent the first four years of his career under Reid when both men were with the Eagles.

The Chiefs’ decision to sign McCoy suggests that they were not entirely comfortable with presumptive RB1 Damien Williams taking the lion’s share of the carries. McCoy and Williams — much to the chagrin of Williams fantasy owners — will likely share the load, with sixth-round rookie Darwin Thompson and second-year player Darrel Williams in support.

McCoy struggled in 2018, which turned out to be his final year in Buffalo, but the Bills’ O-line was a mess. The six-time Pro Bowler is definitely nearing the end of the road, but he did top 1,000 yards in each of his prior two seasons with the Bills, and with a dynamic offense around him and younger players to ease some of his burden, there is reason to believe that he can be productive for the Chiefs in 2019.

McCoy, 31, has 10,606 career rushing yards, good for 25th on the all-time list.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Four Teams Interested In LeSean McCoy

The Chiefs are going to face some competition if they plan on pursuing LeSean McCoy. McCoy was cut by the Bills earlier this morning, and we heard soon after that Kansas City had some interest.

The Chargers, Eagles, and Patriots are also showing strong early interest in McCoy, sources told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). As Rapoport points out, the Chargers are interested because of the ongoing Melvin Gordon holdout. Just a few hours ago, it was reported that the Chargers had given Gordon permission to seek a trade. As of right now, Los Angeles is slated to roll with youngsters Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson if Gordon doesn’t report for the regular season.

The Eagles traded for Jordan Howard earlier this offseason and drafted Miles Sanders in the second-round back in April, but they apparently aren’t satisfied completely with their running back group. The position was a weakness all of last year for them, so it makes sense why they’d want to bolster it as much as possible. McCoy, of course, started his career with the Eagles and spent his first six years in Philly, so there’s some familiarity there.

The Patriots have Sony Michel topping the depth chart, James White as their pass-catching specialist, and they also drafted Damien Harris in the third-round. All of these suitors are projected playoff teams, so it looks like McCoy will have his pick of contenders when he chooses where to play in 2019.

Chiefs Interested In LeSean McCoy

After being dumped by the Bills, LeSean McCoy could land with one of the NFL’s most dangerous offenses. The Chiefs will “take a peek’’ at the running back, Brett Veach says (Twitter link via Adam Teicher of ESPN.com).

We play a lot of common opponents and got to see him on tape and he’s still a talented player and does a lot of great things in the pass game,’’ Veach said. “I’m sure he’s a guy we’ll take a peek at and we kind of have a rapport with.’’

McCoy played the first four seasons of his NFL career for the Eagles and Andy Reid, so there’s familiarity on both ends. And, with rumblings about the Chiefs’ lack of complete confidence in Damien Williams, McCoy could offer valuable veteran support.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bills Reach 53-Man Max

The Bills dropped a host of players on Saturday to reach the 53-man limit, but they also carved out spots by other means. Fifth-round linebacker Vosean Joseph (shoulder) and running back Senorise Perry (quad) were placed on IR while undrafted linebacker Tyrell Dodson was placed on the Commissioner’s exempt list.

Here’s the full list of cut players in Buffalo:

DE Sam Acho
TE Nate Becker
WR Victor Bolden Jr.
TE Kyle Carter
S Kurt Coleman
WR Nick Easley
DE Jeff Holland
QB Tyree Jackson
OT Jarron Jones
LB Deon Lacey
CB Cam Lewis
CB Ryan Lewis
OL Eric Magnuson
WR Ray-Ray McCloud
RB LeSean McCoy
K Chase McLaughlin
CB Captain Munnerlyn
RB Marcus Murphy
DT Kyle Peko
WR Cam Phillips
CB Lafayette Pitts
OL Demetrius Rhaney
CB Denzel Rice
WR David Sills
TE Keith Towbridge
RB Christian Wade
S Abraham Wallace
DT L.T. Walton
WR Duke Williams
DE Eddie Yarbrough
DT Roderick Young

Reactions To Bills Cutting LeSean McCoy

On Saturday, the Bills released longtime starter LeSean McCoy. There have been rumblings about the running back’s job security for a while, but GM Brandon Beane says it wasn’t an easy call.

This allows Devin more opportunities to show what he can do for the team,” said Beane. “We believe in LeSean and still believe he can play, but you can’t look at every decision in a vaccum. After the draft Devin was a guy we were excited about, but some guys transition faster and some guys transition slower. That’s one of the decisions. Who is ready in that running back group to contribute right away? And we just felt right now that Devin would be able to help us along with the other guys that we’re keeping.”

Here’s more on Buffalo and Shady:

  • The Texans, Chargers, Cowboys, Chiefs, and Raiders are teams to watch in the McCoy chase, Mike Florio of PFT (on Twitter) opines. The Texans would make a ton of sense following Lamar Miller‘s injury, though they also have a capable back in Duke Johnson. The Chiefs, meanwhile, may or may not be all in with Damien Williams.
  • The Bills did not ask McCoy to take a pay cut before dropping him, Florio (on Twitter) hears.
  • Beane does not fault McCoy for his lack of production in 2018. “Last year, I don’t fault LeSean. Our offense didn’t get into a rhythm. You can put a lot of that on me,” Beane said.
  • Beane added that the team gauged the trade market on McCoy, but not until very late in the process. The GM also indicated that he was concerned about how McCoy would react to being used in an RB-by-committee backfield.

Bills Release RB LeSean McCoy

A surprise cut out of Buffalo. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the Bills have released veteran running back LeSean McCoy.

There had been rumblings of a potential divorce for several months. McCoy was entering the final year of his five-year, $40MM deal, and cutting the veteran would save the organization more than $6MM. While the organization had been touting McCoy as their 2019 starter throughout the offseason, some pundits wondered if the front office was simply trying to generate trade interest.

However, back in January, GM Brandon Beane made it clear that the running back was staying put.

LeSean will come back in 2019 and we’ll go from there,” the GM said.

Despite their faith in McCoy, the organization still brought in a pair of inexpensive vets in Frank Gore and T.J. Yeldon. Third-round rookie Devin Singletary has also emerged as an intriguing piece during the preseason. Considering the financial discrepancy between McCoy and the other three running backs, the team decided to move on from their four-year starter.

While McCoy was productive during his first three years in Buffalo, he struggled in 2018. The 31-year-old finished the campaign with a career-low 3.2 yards per carry, compiling 514 yards and three touchdowns on 161 carries. He also hauled in 34 receptions for 238 yards.

McCoy still offers serious burst and cutting ability, even at his advanced age, so there’s reason to believe that he can get back to his old form in 2019. Several teams will surely kick the tires on the veteran, so he shouldn’t be a free agent for long.

AFC East Rumors: Gronk, McCoy, Fins, Jets

The AFC East’s teams will report to training camp this week. Here is the latest surrounding the Patriots and their perennial challengers:

  • The Rob Gronkowski comeback talk has escalated considerably, with Gronkowski doing the speculating and predicting how restless he will be when Patriots camp and games begin. It won’t be Gronk’s relationship with Bill Belichick that stands in the way, Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston notes. After 2017 featured tension between Gronkowski and Belichick, Curran adds that the two “greatly” improved their relationship last season. This came despite the Patriots at one point planning to trade Gronk to the Lions last year. This improved relationship could point to Belichick signing off on a Gronk mid- or late-season return. The Patriots’ shaky tight end depth chart would seemingly have the defending champions eager to have the 30-year-old back in uniform.
  • One of Gronkowski’s former sidekicks in New England, Dwayne Allen will not begin camp on time with his new team. The Dolphins placed the veteran tight end on their active/PUP list on Sunday. Cornerback Cordrea Tankersley and linebacker/special-teamer Mike Hull joined Allen in receiving this designation before Miami’s camp. Tankersley tore an ACL in November, so this additional delay was not unexpected. He started 11 games at corner as a rookie but played in only six, as a reserve, last season.
  • Might third-round rookie Devin Singletary‘s performance put a potential Hall of Famer on the outs in Buffalo? LeSean McCoy is entering the final season of a five-year, $40MM Bills contract, and his cap savings ($6MM-plus) would benefit the Bills more than releases of Frank Gore or T.J. Yeldon. This led an NFL scouting director to call the McCoy situation one to monitor, per Albert Breer of SI.com. On a limited Bills offense last season, McCoy averaged a career-low 36.7 yards per game. His 3.2 yards per carry were nearly a yard shy of his previous-worst figure. The idea of a McCoy trade has surfaced this offseason, too.
  • Despite Leonard Williams being one of Mike Maccagnan‘s highest-profile investments, the New York Post’s Brian Costello predicts, barring unrealistic contract demands, Williams will end up staying on a long-term deal. The defensive end’s positive off-field reputation and standing within the locker room supports the notion the new regime, in Costello’s view, regarding him as a cornerstone player going forward. Speculation in league circles emerged that Adam Gase wanted to move on from Williams, but nothing has developed on that front in weeks. Williams, 25, is set for a fifth-year option season at $14.2MM.