Guessing What Kind of Contract LeSean McCoy Will Get

Guessing What Kind of Contract LeSean McCoy Will Get

The good news is everybody seems confident it's going to happen, including Andy Reid -- and he would know. The bad news is it's going to be expensive.

The Eagles and LeSean McCoy are talking contract extension, actually have been for awhile, and a holdout sounds unlikely for now. The front office has been on a mission to get their own players under contract all offseason long, and Shady is a star in every sense of the word, so there appear to be few hangups. The only question left to answer here is, "How much?" We crunch the numbers after the jump.

I took the liberty of updating a list of the highest paid running backs in the NFL courtesy RotoWorld, which seems like a reasonable starting point.

1. Adrian Peterson -- 7 years, 96 million. 36 million guaranteed (13.7apy).
2. Darren McFadden -- 6 years, 60 million. 26 million guaranteed (10apy).
3. Chris Johnson -- 6 years, 55 million. 30 million guaranteed (9.17apy).
4. Arian Foster -- 5 years, 43.5 million. 20.75 million guaranteed (8.7apy).
5. DeAngelo Williams -- 5 years, 43 million. 21 million guaranteed (8.6apy).
6. Marshawn Lynch -- 4 years, 31 million. 18 million guaranteed (7.77apy),
*7. Matt Forte -- 1 year, 7.7 million. 7.7 million guaranteed (7.7apy).
   Ray Rice -- 1 year, 7.7 million. 7.7 million guaranteed (7.7apy).
9. Steven Jackson -- 6 years, 44.8 million. 20.5 million guaranteed (7.47apy).
10. Frank Gore -- 4 years, 25.9 million. 13.5 million guaranteed (6.48apy).

* Neither Forte or Rice are presently under contract. Their numbers reflect the franchise tag tender. Judging from the current climate, both figure to remain on this list whenever they sign.

We'll go ahead and state the obvious: McCoy won't see AP numbers. That contract, outlandish as it is, reflects Peterson's status as a seventh overall pick in the '07 Draft, a freak athlete, and simply the best back in football over the past five years. In today's NFL, it's hard to imagine the next time a runner will ever earn more.

Unlike Peterson, McFadden's contract is only as enormous as it is as a result of where he was drafted, fourth overall in '08 -- before a rookie wage scale was in place. He has been neither healthy nor consistent, and though he has all the talent in the world, our sense is he would not command $10 million per on the open market if he were available today.

Somewhere between third and fifth on this list is where we might begin to see signs of the sweet spot, in particular with CJ2K and Foster. Besides AP, they are two of the highest paid and most recently re-signed backs on the list. Not coincidentally, they each led the league in rushing and yards from scrimmage for one season, in consecutive years in fact -- '09 and '10.

Does McCoy belong in their company? Johnson's '09 campaign was one for the books, becoming just the sixth player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in one season. That potential was the basis for the offer he eventually received, and as good as McCoy is, he hasn't accomplished anything quite like that.

Arian Foster draws a better comparison to Shady of the two. The Texans just extended their All-Pro back in March, so there's no need to account for inflation. It's all about whether McCoy is on the same level.

McCoy vs. Foster
Statistically speaking, Foster appears to hold the upper hand. Over the past two seasons, he's racked up 4,061 yards from scrimmage and 30 touchdowns to McCoy's 3,296 and 29. Foster has also been a far more dangerous receiving threat, averaging 10.3 yards per catch to 7.2. However, Foster accumulated his totals yardage via many more touches -- 724 to 606.

It's not all about the numbers, either. As Blogging the bEast brought attention to on Tuesday, McCoy may have been more valuable to his team than any other back in the league in 2011, playing significantly more snaps than any other. Only Ray Rice was within 100 snaps, and Foster wasn't even within 200. Whether McCoy can sustain that type of workload or not is a question for another day. While the numbers suggest Foster is better, based on his role in the offense alone, McCoy has a strong case for being paid equally.

Further complicating the matter is DeAngelo Williams, who somehow convinced the Panthers to pay him $43 million over five years last -- practically the exact same as Foster. Surely McCoy deserves to be paid as well as the 29-year-old Williams, whose only season in the top 10 of yards from scrimmage and rushing touchdowns came in 2008, no?

Shady holds one final advantage over Foster, that being he is two years younger. Maybe he can get an extra year based on that, though if he finished out the contract, that would take him right up to 30, which is a bad time to for a runner to negotiate a new contract. Any way you slice it though, it looks like McCoy could be heading for somewhere just south of $9 million over no fewer than five years with a guarantee close to or in excess of $20 million until negotiations are final.

FIlm Review: What led to Eagles' poor run defense against Washington?

FIlm Review: What led to Eagles' poor run defense against Washington?

The Eagles have vowed to get better. 

They desperately don't want to have a performance from their run defense like the one against Washington, when they gave up 230 yards on the ground. 

Head coach Doug Pederson said the run defense is "a pride thing" and the guys responsible for the performance, Jim Schwartz included, say things will get better. The defensive coordinator cited bad angles as a reason there were so many missed tackles on Sunday afternoon. 

In all, the Eagles missed 10 tackles and gave up 156 yards after contact — both more than they had given up in the first four games of the season. 

Washington's rushing yards came in some big chunks. Here's a look at some of the key running plays from Sunday as we try to figure out what went wrong: 

This is a key 3rd-and-7 from the Washington 13-yard line. On this drive, Washington ends up scoring a touchdown to go up 14-0, but it doesn't happen without this key third down conversion. 

The Eagles collapse the pocket and force Kirk Cousins to his left. That's exactly what Schwartz said he wants, to force the quarterback to his non-throwing side. Everything at this point is working out perfectly. 

Here's the angle that's really troublesome. At this point, Nigel Bradham (circled in green) has Cousins in his sights, while Vinny Curry and Brandon Graham (farther behind) are in pursuit. Curry and Graham seem to let up in their pursuit when it looks like Cousins will go out of bounds. But he doesn't. 

Schwartz talked about bad angles, and this is the perfect example from Bradham. He overshoots it and when Cousins makes his cut back inside, all of Bradham's momentum is heading toward the sideline. Curry ends up making the tackle but tackles Cousins forward for a big first down. 

This next play was just a little counter draw that ended up going for a huge 45-yard gain. Rob Kelley takes the handoff, which looks to be going right. The entire Eagles' linebacking group bites hard. Still, right end Connor Barwin is free and has a chance to make the play. 

He doesn't. Just a missed tackle. 

Kelley finds some open field. Rodney McLeod is the next guy to beat and Kelley simply turns him around. You'll see Mychal Kendricks enter the frame. Kendricks showed great recovery speed to get back in the play and has a chance to finally bring the running back down. 

Nope. Can't do it. Eventually, McLeod recovers to bring him down. 

This last play ended the game on Sunday. The Eagles punted the ball away with the hope that their defense would stop Washington and give them the ball back. Instead, Matt Jones broke off a 57-yard run on 3rd-and-7. 

Jordan Hicks over pursues, probably thinking the run was going wide. But he loses his gap and Jones is off to the races. 

Once Jones gets past the first down, it doesn't really matter that it was a 57-yard run. It could have been an 8-yarder and the game was over. 

So what did we learn? 

Well, Schwartz was right. Angles absolutely killed the Eagles on Sunday. But when they have a guy wrapped up, they need to bring him down. Sure, that's not Earth-shattering, but they couldn't do it on Sunday and it led to a loss. 

Sixers to ease in Jahlil Okafor off bench, expect more from him on D

Sixers to ease in Jahlil Okafor off bench, expect more from him on D

The Sixers struggled to carve a clear role for Jahlil Okafor last season as he and Nerlens Noel split time out of position in the frontcourt. Brett Brown has a more clear picture of how to utilize Okafor in his second year, highlighted by goals and a shift to the bench. 

Okafor has been sidelined from preseason action because of his right knee. He underwent surgery to repair a meniscus tear in March and aggravated it during the final training camp scrimmage. 

Okafor said he felt “pretty sore” after scrimmaging Monday, his first since camp, and he was better after going through individualized training and work in the water on Tuesday. This setback has forced him to exercise patience. 

“I know I told you guys I wasn’t frustrated a few weeks ago, but at this point it has been frustrating because I’ve been doing all the right stuff and I want to see me back out there sooner,” Okafor said after practice Thursday. “But I can’t rush my body, I can’t rush my health. ... I would love to have the opportunity to be there for opening night and play in front of our fans. Right now it’s looking like that’s probable."

The Sixers plan to use Okafor in a reserve role to start the season. Okafor expects to be on a 12- to 15-minute restriction, similar to Joel Embiid, when he is cleared to play. 

“I think about it all the time, but I talk to him. We’ve talked about this for months,” Brown said of Okafor's coming off the bench. “It’s not anything that is going to surprise anybody. He’s been fantastic. ... I talked with Jahlil about a lot of things and that could be, to start the year it will be, a scenario.”

Okafor, the third overall pick in 2015, started 48 of his 53 games last season. He is approaching this year with realistic expectations given his restrictions and is not concerned about being out of the starting five. 

“I’ll be fine,” Okafor said. “That won’t be a tough adjustment for me. I came off the bench a couple of times last year.”

Brown’s focus is not necessarily on how Okafor starts the game, but how he finishes. He would like Okafor and Embiid to be able to play together at the end of games to give the team a fourth-quarter boost.

“If it ends up you’ve got Jahlil coming off the bench and he’s going against backup five men, you think you probably have an advantage there,” Brown said. “If he does anything, he scores the ball, he scores buckets, he gets points. You can see how that can be a really nice role for him and for us.”

Okafor led the Sixers in scoring last season with 17.5 points per game. Brown, though, is focusing on his defensive improvements. The Sixers are looking to play an uptempo system in which they will need Okafor to hustle on defense each possession. Okafor slimmed down and added muscle this summer to prepare for the season. 

“He has to be elite in two areas to me,” Brown said. “Transition defense first — A-plus-plus-plus, get back. If you’re tired, if you’ve got to conserve energy, it’s not that way. It’s running back on offense. We have to get him back on defense.

“Then he has to be better skilled, better drilled by me, [a] high level of accountability with pick-and-roll defense. ... You can go over to defensive rebounding (as) a close third, but those two things happen the most.”

Okafor expects to be more effective on the defensive end after getting adjusted to it as a rookie. 

“(I want) to be smarter on defense, knowing where to be,” Okafor said. “My first year playing in the NBA, it was just a lot going on. Everybody was so fast.” 

Brown sees a focused 20-year-old who is more disciplined and ready to embrace whatever role he is given this season. 

“I can’t wait to coach him this year," Brown said. "I think he’s going to come back and have a great year. His body tells me that, his attitude tells me that. He’s in a good place personally."