Going into the offseason a lot of questions need to be answered for the Bills. One of them is what do the Bills do in the running back position behind LeSean McCoy?
For most of the season McCoy had Mike Tolbert and Travaris Cadet providing backup. But, with Tolbert showing little progress and Cadet dislocating his ankle in week 16 the need for a solid backup running back is necessary.
The Bills signed Cadet to a one-year, $775,000 contract in 2017 so the need to re-sign Cadet shouldn’t be difficult. In nine games Cadet racked up 93-yards on the ground and 93-yards through the air. Although he’s coming off a dislocated ankle and will be 29-years old on February 1st, Cadet isn’t the worst option out there. He knows the players, coaches, and certainly knows the system.
The same concept goes for Taiwan Jones. Jones too was signed to a one-year, $775,000 deal this past offseason, and he too is coming off a season ending injury. Jones too, knows the players, coaches, and McDermott’s system.
There is a lot of intriguing names in free agency at the running back position. The Bills can add veteran running backs like Carlos Hyde, Isaiah Crowell, Jerick McKinnon, and Jeremy Hill with their $32,000,000 in cap space. Adding a veteran running back and also a more experience running back would only just help McCoy. McCoy was on the field for 722 snaps this past season, which was 7th in the league this year for running backs.
This year, free agency also provides us with star running back Le’Veon Bell. But with Bell in contract talks with Pittsburgh, it’s highly unlikely that Bell will leave the steel city.
Having one of these running backs behind McCoy would be an excellent move. Tolbert wasn’t productive at all this season, Tolbert had 66 rushing attempts for 247-yards and one touchdown this season. Tolbert even managed to have two fumbles this season. It’s safe to say that it might be time for the Bills to move on from Tolbert.
There’s a lot of excellent running backs in this year’s draft. We all know that Penn State running back Saquon Barkley will be a top ten pick. But after that it’s a free fall of running backs. With the Bills having two picks in the first-round and in the second-round they could easily get the help they need.
There’s college football’s leading rusher in 2017, Rashaad Penny out of San Diego State who ran for 2,248-yards. Also, how can we forget about the dynamic duo out of Georgia, Nick Chubb and Sony Michael. Who ran for a combined 2,572-yards in 2017 and had a combined total of 31 touchdowns. If the Bills could land any of these running backs in the draft it would sure help.
Whatever choice the Bills make, anything would help McCoy. He would finally have a solid running back behind him, it would also take away the increasing amount of snaps and workload brought to him in each game. This could give the Bills coaching staff to use McCoy when needed and reduce the risk of injury.
McCoy will turn 30-years old on July 12th and yes, he still can make anyone miss and seems to look better with age, but there’s always that dreadful question. How much longer can McCoy play?