The Houston Texans are in dire need of a running back and the Bills just released LeSean McCoy. He’d be a terrific addition to the team if signed. Why?
Houston Texans fans — it’s CUT DAY in the NFL and all rosters have to be trimmed to 53 men by 3 p.m. CDT. We’ve already seen a moderate wave of cuts from the Houston Texans but none of them were shocking. The most notables were Josh Ferguson and Bryan Anger.
Ferguson, who was trending high at the beginning of camp, faltered a bit over the past few weeks when Karan Higdon and Damarea Crockett started to overshadow him. Picking between the latter two backs will be a tough decision but I’d imagine Bill O’Brien is going to keep one of those and if I’m a betting man, it will be Higdon.
Anyway, as the cuts are announced with the Houston Texans, we’re all keeping an eye on the cuts that other teams are initiating.
The most notable at the moment is the release of veteran running back LeSean McCoy, who had been with the Buffalo Bills since 2015. He was working off a five-year, $40 million deal that would’ve paid him a base salary of $6.2M this season, the final of his contract.
The Bills are obviously confident that 36-year-old Frank Gore, who still averaged 4.2 yards per attempt last season, coupled with 2019 third-round pick Devin Singletary, as well as T.J. Yeldon, is all they need to be competitive in the run game in their eyes. His dead cap figure is about $3M for this season, a negligible number that they can deal with.
This left McCoy being the odd man out and he’s now free to sign with a team that he chooses. A member of the elite 10,000 rushing yards club, McCoy’s numbers have slid over the past three seasons but he can still be an effective running back in this league.
That’s why general manager O’Brien needs to get Drew Rosenhaus, McCoy’s agent, on the line to try to strike a one-year deal with Shady. McCoy will help them get through the season and he’d be a nice complement to Duke Johnson.
I’d suspect that the Houston Texans will draft a running back high next season as it’s uncertain what the future holds for Lamar Miller in the wake of a devastating knee injury. I strongly believe that had Miller been healthy, they would’ve probably tacked on another year or two after this season to keep him around.
Nonetheless, McCoy still averaged 3.2 yards per attempt last season with the Bills and although that’s far below Miller’s 4.6-mark, I think those numbers could increase and he could handle the workload.
Pro Football Focus gave him a 62.5 run and a 62.0 offensive grade through 490 snaps for 2018, which has been his lowest mark in quite some time. His run grade ranks him 25th out of 28 running backs with at least 240 snaps last season.
The 31-year-old back is still ranked 24th in elusive rating (27.8) and 23rd in breakaway percentage (21.8), meaning that not only he could be effective in spite of a weak offensive line but
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he has the ability to break out for big plays of 15 yards or more.
We definitely wouldn’t see things at the rate when he was younger when he was with the Philadelphia Eagles but I think he could immerse himself into the offensive system quickly. He’s also a solid pass-catcher so that will help with his ability to an effective contributor to this offense.
Although the Houston Texans are waiting for the dust to settle from the cuts later today, I think signing Shady would be an excellent move to help out Duke and whoever else they keep in the running backs room.
Here’s to hoping — go Houston Texans!
McCoy rushed 161 times for 514 yards and three touchdowns last season and he also caught 34 balls for 238 yards — 7.0 yards per reception — off 46 targets in 2018.
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