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.

New Jersey product Tim Adleman limits Phillies to 1 hit over 8 innings

New Jersey product Tim Adleman limits Phillies to 1 hit over 8 innings

Cincinnati Reds starter Tim Adleman came into Friday night’s start against the Phillies with an ERA above six, having allowed 10 runs in his last 5 2/3 innings. 

So, naturally, he gave up just one hit over eight scoreless innings. 

The 29-year-old righty dominated the Phillies in just his 20th career MLB start en route to his third win this season, pitching easily the best game of his young career in a 5-2 Reds’ win (see game recap).

It was understandably the best that Reds manager Bryan Price had seen from Adleman.
 
"It wasn't just because of the line score," Price said. "It was really command-based. Really good both sides of the plate. Had a nice sinking fastball, could straighten it out when he needed to. A very, very good changeup. I don’t think he even used a breaking ball there until the eighth inning.

"So it was really that good."

At just 100 pitches through eight, naturally the question for Price was whether to allow him the chance at a complete game. However, Price needed to get reliever Asher Wojciechowski work to get him ready for a start next week.

"I wanted to stay in there pretty badly, but you understand the move," Adleman said. "Wojo needed to get some work. It had been a while since he threw and it's a game in May. It's not a game that's deeper in the season. … I totally understand."

For his eight innings, Adleman attacked the Phillies' batters early in counts and didn't allow a batter to reach third all night. He retired the leadoff batter in all but one inning and allowed just four batters to reach base.

The Phillies' only threat came in the first inning. An Andres Blanco single was followed by an Aaron Altherr hit by pitch. That brought up Thursday's hero -- Tommy Joseph -- with two men on and just one out. Adleman utilized his changeup on a 1-2 pitch, inducing a weak grounder back the mound for a 1-4-3 double play. 

In three at-bats against Joseph, Adleman recorded three ground ball outs, all on the changeup, which is his primary off-speed offering.

"The scouting report is that he's a really good fastball hitter. Does a lot of damage on fastballs," Adleman said, "So if you can get him in situations where you're confident he's looking for a fastball and then cut a changeup on him, it can be really effective. Obviously, you have to keep it down, but that's the same with all your pitches."

Joseph's at-bats set the trend for the rest of the Phillies' lineup. The Reds’ starter kept the ball down and didn’t allow another baserunner until he walked Blanco to lead off the seventh. Sixteen of his 24 outs came on ground balls and only five pitches were hit past the infield. 

Adleman stated his goal was to use the Phillies’ aggressiveness against them with strikes early in the count and it worked. It was his first time pitching into the eighth inning in his career and he did so with almost exclusively his fastball and changeup.

"I think it had a lot to do with that little pause [in his delivery] and he did a good job changing speeds on us," Joseph said. "He basically did it with two pitches, which says a lot about how hard this game can be. Hats off to him. 

"Next time we'll see if we can't get him back."

In a way, Adleman was getting the Phillies back. He made the third start of his career at Citizens Bank Park last year on May 14. He took the loss against Friday’s starter, Aaron Nola, while allowing three runs in five innings.

Born in Staten Island, Adleman was raised in New Jersey, but grew up a Yankees fan. He hadn't been to CBP until college, where he faced Villanova while playing for Georgetown. 

At 29, he's a little old for a second-year starter because he took a winding road to the major leagues. Drafted by the Orioles in 2010, he was nearly out of baseball by 24. He spent two years in independent leagues before catching on with the Reds and debuting in the show last season.

The journeyman starter had struggled in his last few starts, which helped his ERA balloon to 6.19. However, his Friday night opponent seemed more than happy to take some air out of the balloon. Adleman became the fifth pitcher in the last six days to come into a start against the Phillies with an ERA of 5.00 or above and allow one run or less over at least five innings. 

"It feels good," Adleman said of his night. "Philly's a good young team and Nola is making quite a name for himself. He out-pitched me last year and coming into tonight I knew I had an opportunity to right the ship so to speak."

Pete Mackanin calls team meeting after Phillies hit low point with 21st loss in 26 games

Pete Mackanin calls team meeting after Phillies hit low point with 21st loss in 26 games

BOX SCORE

When the opposing pitcher comes in with an ERA that matches the area code for San Diego — 6.19 — and holds you scoreless on one single over eight innings, well …

You've reached the low point of your season.

And it's time for a team meeting.

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin called for a little powwow after his club suffered a 5-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night (see Instant Replay). Don't let the final score fool you. It wasn't that close. The loss was the Phillies' 21st in the last 26 games. They were held to three hits for the fourth time in the last six games — five losses — and have scored just nine runs over that span.

Mackanin acknowledged that this was the low point for his team, which owns the worst record in the majors at 16-30. Cincinnati starting pitcher Tim Adleman entered the game with a 6.19 ERA, but he pitched like an ace in holding the Phillies to just a first-inning single over his eight shutout innings (see story). Adleman walked two, struck out four and at one point set down 16 straight Phillies. The 29-year-old right-hander has made 20 starts in his big-league career and this was by far the best.

"Yeah," Mackanin said when asked if the loss was the season's low point. "We need to step it up. We're better than this. I know we're better than this. We've just got to start playing as aggressive as we can and take it to the other team. Be aggressive at the plate and pound the strike zone."

That apparently was Mackanin's message to the club in his postgame meeting, though he would not talk about it.

"He just wants to see us play with a little more fire and a little more energy," Aaron Altherr said. "You know, it's something we've got to do. Today wasn't too great. But, like I said, hopefully we can right the ship and start winning some games again."

Tommy Joseph was tight-lipped on the content of the team meeting.

"That's basically stuff that was between us," he said. "There's a pretty good understanding that we need to get going in here and that was really it. I think the rest is pretty self-explanatory and what he had to say is between us.

"It's definitely not a lack of effort. Everybody is out there trying to get the job done. I think there are certain nights when the job is getting done. When things start to spark a little bit, everybody feeds off that. Obviously there are some nights where that doesn't happen. It's definitely not from a lack of effort. Everybody is going out there busting their ass, so it's just a matter of sometimes it goes our way and sometimes it doesn't."

Mackanin used slumping Odubel Herrera in the leadoff spot for the first time this season and he produced a ninth-inning double after Adleman exited. The Phillies actually loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, but a fielder's choice groundball and then a strikeout by Maikel Franco, the potential tying run, ended the game. Franco struck out swinging wildly at a full-count breaking ball from Raisel Iglesias.

Joseph mentioned that Adleman changed speeds well and used a slight hesitation in his delivery to throw off hitters.

But was it more the pitcher or more just a bad offense?

"It's hard to tell," Mackanin said. "That's a daily question. Are we not hitting the ball like we should or is the pitcher that good? It seems like I look up and every other pitcher we face has a 6.00 ERA, but I think it's all because we're missing good pitches to hit. We're getting pitches to hit and we're not hitting them."

Aaron Nola did not have a good start. He gave up a pair of homers in falling behind, 3-0, after two innings, and, obviously, there was no coming back, not with this offense.

The Philies are 5-18 in the month of May.

Or should we say Mayday?

"We're trying to stay positive, as positive as we can throughout this stretch," Altherr said. "You know, it's tough sometimes when things are going the way they are. We're just going to keep being positive, keep trying to bring as much energy as we can to win some games."