Buffalo Bills: How much does LeSean McCoy have left to offer?


With LeSean McCoy nearing that precarious age for running backs, what kind of production can the Buffalo Bills expect from him in the final two years of his contract?

Most people will agree the Buffalo Bills don’t make the playoffs last season without the efforts of LeSean McCoy. He paced the NFL’s sixth-best rushing attack with 1,138 yards; the sixth time he has broken the 1,000 yard barrier on the ground.

McCoy also led the team with 59 receptions, which were the second-most of his professional career. All things told, Brandon Beane expects him to be a major part of the Bill’s offense once again in 2018, as reported by CBS Sports:

"“Yeah. I’m planning on that,” the general manager said. “He obviously had the little injury at the end of the year. I give him a lot of credit to play in that Jacksonville game with the injury. That shows how competitive he is. He’s healthy and ready to go. I expect him back. He’ll be a big part of what we’re doing in 2018.”"

And yet, there will still likely be some concern about how effective McCoy can be. He will turn 30 before the new campaign begins, an age which is often perceived as a precarious point for running backs.

It’s all very well saying the 2009 second round draft pick has an elusiveness which belies his age. He is often compared to Barry Sanders in terms of his moves and ability to avoid big hits.

However, while this may well be the case, consider that McCoy averaged his second-fewest rushing yards per game in eight seasons. (We didn’t include his rookie year, when he only started four games.)

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Admittedly, this statistic alone is not necessarily cause for alarm; it can be impacted by how much a team runs the rock, or more specifically, how many carries they give to a specific player. However, add in a career-low in rushing yards per attempt and now there is at least some reason to panic.

In the interest of fairness/objectivity, it is worth pointing out McCoy may well have been stymied by the offense the Bills ran. As per Rotoworld, one perception is Rick Dennison failed to mold his schemes to fit the available talent, thus why he was fired after the season.

For McCoy specifically, ESPN’s Mike Clay reasons his statistics could have been affected by only 17 percent of his carries coming from the shotgun. This represented a five-year low and was a far cry from the 81 percent of his carries which came from the shotgun in 2013.

When considering all of this contradictory evidence in respect of the six-time Pro Bowler’s potential impact in 2018, it is no wonder even fans are unsure. Consider this poll which was run by Ryan Talbot of Newyorkupstate.com:

There is no denying how important McCoy has been to the Bills during his time in Buffalo. Further, the reality is there is no way of knowing what he has left to offer in the final two years of his contract.

Regardless, it makes sense for the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native to be the main back for at least one more year, especially as the Bills will have a new quarterback behind center. If nothing else, he’s earned at least that much.

Next: Bills' mock draft for first two rounds

What kind of production are you predicting for McCoy next season? Would you keep him around, or should the Buffalo Bills attempt to trade him? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.