According to multiple news outlets (I believe Jeff McLane was the first) the Buffalo Bills and soon to be acquired running back LeSean McCoy have agreed on a whopping new contract that will pay McCoy $40 million over the next 5 seasons with $26.5 million in guarantees, $16 million of which is paid in the first year. According to Mike Garafolo he will receive a $13 million signing bonus, which, by my math, should result in a cap hit of $5.6 million in 2015.
Of that $16m in the first year for LeSean McCoy, $13m comes as a monster signing bonus. Total value of the deal: $40m over 5 years.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 8, 2015
What the move itself defies almost all logic in the NFL. It is the kind of move that is probably favored by head coach Rex Ryan, who helped mold a number of decisions in his time in New York, but it is not the first time the Bills have made such moves. In recent years they spent wildly on Mario Williams and to a lesser extent Ryan Fitzpatrick. As a comparison, Marshawn Lynch this season will receive $12 million to play in the NFL. Adrian Peterson will possibly earn $13 million. The next highest paid player will be the Bears Matt Forte at $8.2 million.
McCoy had three years remaining on his current deal at $25.25 million, of which just $1 milliom was guaranteed. The new $26.5 million guarantee, (of which $10.5M is likely guaranteed for injury only) means the Bills agreed to actually give him a raise in the hopes of appeasing the player and realizing some salary cap relief. McCoy immediately let it be known he was unhappy being traded to Buffalo which likely helped nail down this offer. His orginial cap charge was set to be $10.25 million, so the team will save roughly half that number giving them more money to try to keep Jerry Hughes.
McCoy will be 27 this season. In the last 25 years just 49 running backs at the age of 27 have run for 1,000 yards. At age 28 the number drops to 39 and then 29 at the age of 29. 14 players have done it three times. If we increase that to 1,200 yards only Barry Sanders and Tiki Barber accomplished it 3 times. If we filter our 1,000 yard years to players averaging more than 4.2 YPC its 25, 25, and 10 in the 27-29 age range. The Bills best hope that McCoy is one of those special 25 players to justify this contract.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.