Imagine for a second both DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy were back on the Eagles. How does that make you feel? Could be fun, right?
Now realize that scenario isn’t an impossibility. In fact, Jackson and McCoy could potentially return to Philadelphia as soon as the 2017 offseason.
Before anyone gets carried away, I’m not saying the return of both players is likely. There’s a good chance neither player will be back. There’s no actual rumor or report (yet) indicating these returns might happen; I’m just discussing a fun thing to think about.
We already know Jackson is set to be a free agent. Multiple reports emerged throughout the 2016 season that indicate Jackson and the Eagles have mutual interest in reuniting. Jackson also reportedly told several former teammates, including McCoy and Brandon Graham, that he was coming back to Philadelphia.
Speaking of McCoy, he’s not set to be a free agent this offseason. His current contract runs through 2019. But is there a chance McCoy gets cut? Here’s an interesting blurb from Gregg Rosthenal of NFL.com.
“McCoy is a very awkward fit in new coordinator Rick Dennison's one-cut running attack. The Bills could decide to risk letting McCoy go a year too early rather than hold on to him a year too long. If the team designates McCoy a post-June 1 cut, they get $6.25 million in cap room and -- more importantly -- save $6 million in cash to spend elsewhere. The Bills have a number of high-priced players who may no longer work with the new coaching staff [...] GM Doug Whaley may be loath to blow this team up because of the dead money involved, but there's a case to be made to start clearing the decks.”
Now, Rosthenal isn’t your typical NFL insider. He’s not a guy who regularly breaks news. But stick with me for a second here because I noticed something interesting earlier this week.
On Tuesday, Rosenthal randomly tweeted out that he thought Nick Foles was a “sneaky candidate” to be a starter in Week 1 this season. One day later, NFL Network reported the Chiefs wouldn’t be picking up Foles’ option, thus making the former Pro Bowl MVP a free agent. (Side note: hey, look, the Eagles could bring back Foles, too!)
So just because Rosthenal doesn’t report the news himself doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t know anything. Or maybe it was all a coincidence and I’m just reaching here.
In any case, I don’t think it’s likely the Bills move on from McCoy this offseason. If the Bills don’t designate McCoy as a post-June 1 cut, it saves Buffalo only $1 million in cap space compared to nearly $8 million in dead money. In addition, McCoy is still a very good player, scheme-fit be damned. He finished sixth overall in rushing yards (1,267), third in yards per attempt (5.4), and fourth in rushing touchdowns (13).
I also don’t know how interested the Eagles would be in both players. Jackson is 30 and could be seeking his last chance at a big pay day. McCoy, meanwhile, would be the top free agent rusher on the market. He turns 29 this summer. The thinking is the Eagles are looking to surround Wentz with younger players that can grow with him. Jackson and/or McCoy would sure provide immediate help, but their long-term prospects remain questionable. And it’s not like the Eagles are loaded with cap space to sign both players with ease.
Although I wouldn’t count on it happening, it’s at least fun to think about what this Eagles team could look like with Wentz having legitimate weapons like McCoy and Jackson. If not for Chip Kelly, maybe it could have actually happened.