It is not currently en vogue, in the NFL, to pay big money for running backs or sign them to long-term contracts. The fact that the Philadelphia Eagles did both a couple of weeks ago with LeSean McCoy tells you how they feel about that particular player. But it also reminds you of the stunning fact of how young McCoy still is. Already one of the best running backs in the league, McCoy doesn't turn 24 until July. Even if he plays out his entire contract as an Eagle, he still won't have turned 30 by the time it ends.
Matt Williamson has a list of his projected top NFL running backs for 2015, and McCoy is the only NFC East back on the list. He places second, behind Browns rookie Trent Richardson. It's an Insider piece, but here's a snippet of what Matt says about McCoy:
[The Eagles] apparently feel that McCoy is well-equipped to be a star back for some time going forward -- and I couldn't agree more. He took a massive step forward last year and is among the most dangerous all-around players in the NFL.
McCoy is coming off a season in which he had 1,309 rushing yards, 315 receiving yards and 20 total touchdowns. He has shown the ability to be a workhorse back, an asset in the passing game and a goal-line threat. And he'll play that 2015 season at the age of 27. You could make the case for him to rank first on Matt's list, especially since the guy who does hasn't played an NFL down yet and seems likely to be ridden harder in Cleveland over the next three years than McCoy should be in Philadelphia's diverse offense. But regardless of whether he's first or second, McCoy's place on a list like this reminds you of what's so special about him that the Eagles felt it was worth giving him that new contract.