Could LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson reunite with Eagles?

Today's question comes from reader Mark:

Any chance that the Eagles get the band back together and acquire both DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy this offseason?

A little LeSean McCoy buzz kicked up this week thanks in large part to an NFL.com article that listed McCoy as a potential surprise player who could be released. Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News also brought up McCoy's name when discussing potential cost-cutting moves for the Buffalo Bills. He noted that McCoy turns 29 in July and, given the wall that running backs often hit, "might very well fall under the category of a player that could be worth the risk of releasing a year too early in order to avoid the potential of doing so a year too late." McCoy is slated to make a base salary of $6 million in 2017 with a cap number just shy of $9 million.

DeSean Jackson is scheduled to be a free agent and has already been linked to the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason. Put those two elements together, and you get speculation of a reunion.

Certainly, there would be a level of intrigue on both sides. When Jackson spoke with the Philly media in October leading up to the Eagles-Washington Redskins game, he said that he and McCoy had just been reminiscing about the good old days.

"[McCoy] sent me a message this morning and said, 'Man, we were awesome together.' I was like, 'Yeah, man, I miss playing with you,'" Jackson said. "He actually sent me a picture this morning from when he scored a touchdown when we were both in Philadelphia and it was like, 'Man, we miss them days.' But you've got to live on, move on. It's unfortunate that things broke up the way they did, but I think everybody is still happy and still doing what they need to do."

Both players are fond of the city and perhaps would find satisfaction in a triumphant return after being shown the door by former Eagles coach Chip Kelly.

The organization could be tempted to right the perceived wrongs of the past. Indeed, much of the personnel work that Kelly did has already been undone by executive vice president Howie Roseman and the front office. Getting two of their star players back in the fold would complete the process while giving QB Carson Wentz a pair of playmakers.

It's an interesting thought to entertain, but we should probably inject a little reality into the situation. For one, McCoy is still property of the Bills and is coming off a season in which he finished sixth in the NFL in rushing yards (1,267), third in yards per attempt (5.4) and fourth in rushing touchdowns (13). Yes, Buffalo is bound to alter its system under a new coaching staff, but as Kelly learned the hard way, good players make the scheme and not the other way around. Would Buffalo really want to part with its most productive offensive player? Doesn't make much sense to me, but I guess you never know.

The likelihood of Jackson landing with the Eagles is greater since he's a free agent, but even in his case, there's bound to be a moment when he asks himself: Do I really want to go back there? He has found peace with the unceremonious way he was dumped by the Eagles, but re-signing with Philly would invite the ghosts of the past back into the room. That's something he might be able to power past -- especially if the money is right -- but it shouldn't be totally ruled out as a potential factor.

From the Eagles' perspective, they have to make sure that their moves are forward-thinking as opposed to trying to recapture a time that no longer exists. The goal is to build a team that can support Wentz over the long haul. Does bringing in a couple of former players in the back stages of their prime, who would eat up a good chunk of valuable salary-cap space, speak to that mission statement?

The Eagles need help at running back and receiver, so if there is a way to bring them in while ensuring that the team isn't burdened by their contracts over the long term, then it makes sense. But with the big picture in mind, it's probably best that the team passes on the trip down memory lane.

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