The Buffalo Bills didn’t get much production out of LeSean McCoy in 2018 and it is possible the team decides to release him this offseason.
Then I thought on it for a day.
McCoy showed up in a Pro Football Focus list of players who could be cut this offseason, and the numbers make sense.
The veteran running back has just over a $9 million cap hit in 2019, but releasing him would only put $2,625,000 against the dead cap. That is a saving of over $6 million.
The reason for his release would be his dismal 2018 season in which he only managed to gain 514 rushing yards in the entire season. It was his lowest mark ever, as he even gained more in his rookie season when he only started four games.
He is entering his age-31 season and is an unrestricted free agent in 2020 anyway. The Bills could save millions by letting him go and starting fresh at running back.
The problem is that the other backs are Chris Ivory and Marcus Murphy. Neither stands out as a lead back and it would take the Bills signing a top running back for the team to likely consider cutting McCoy at this point. It would make no sense to let him go without having a replacement on the roster.
He also serves as the veteran presence on the offense, especially now that Charles Clay is gone. The fact the Bills have so much money to spend could mean McCoy stays solely for his experience, even if the team is projecting him to have another down year.
If the Bills had bottomed out last year and were completely starting over in 2019, then McCoy would be gone for sure. But since the team made the playoffs in 2017 and had a partial rebuild last year, the playoffs are not out of the question in 2019. Banking on McCoy to play at his career averages may be a better option than letting him go at this point in time.
Yet if the team can land a top running back in free agency or through the draft, his time may be up soon.