LeSean McCoy’s Statements Shouldn’t Harm Eagles Legacy


LeSean McCoy continues to tell the world that he’s happy with the Buffalo Bills and feels more accepted there. However, it’s become clear that he’s baffled by his exit from Philadelphia and the events that led up to it.

If an off-season smear campaign on Chip Kelly’s character hadn’t been enough to convince you that so far, his comments to ESPN Wednesday probably were:

"You told The Philadelphia Inquirer in April that Chip doesn’t “like or respect stars.” What was the problem with you and Chip, and how did that relationship end?The relationship was never really great. I feel like I always respected him as a coach. I think that’s the way he runs his team. He wants the full control. You see how fast he got rid of all the good players. Especially all the good black players. He got rid of them the fastest. That’s the truth. There’s a reason. … It’s hard to explain with him. But there’s a reason he got rid of all the black players — the good ones — like that. [Editor’s note: The Eagles declined to comment on McCoy’s statements.]"

There isn’t really a way to quantify the pure desperation of McCoy’s comments. Him and DeSean Jackson may feel that way, but the team invested a good chunk of their off-season money in DeMarco Murray and Byron Maxwell, while making black players five of their six 2015 draft picks.

(I don’t doubt that some players feel or have felt the way that McCoy now does.)

Might Kelly have not liked McCoy’s demeanor or approach? Sure, but that doesn’t have anything to do with his skin color.

It’s also possible that the biggest reason that the team moved on from the soon-to-be 27 year-old was the $11.95 million cap hit for 2015 that he was scheduled to have, which the team ended up re-allocating to sign various other players, which doesn’t even take into account that they got Kiko Alonso in return for McCoy.

One part of the article that was lost in McCoy’s questionable statement was that he still speaks highly of Philadelphia fans:

"You’ll be going back to Philly in December. What do you think that experience will be like for you?I do love the Eagles’ fans. I have nothing but great memories there, so I’m excited to go back. I’m sure that they’ll show me some love. I have nothing but love for that city."

Given how outspoken he’s been about Chip Kelly this off-season, and the seeming thought from many in the fanbase that Kelly can do no wrong, the feeling from Philadelphia towards LeSean McCoy isn’t exactly mutual right now. But it should be.

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Regardless of this bump in the road, McCoy’s legacy should be assured. He had nearly 7,000 yards in six years in Philadelphia. He’s the franchise’s all-time leading rusher and in the minds of many, he’s the greatest running-back in team history.

Racism claims aside, McCoy should be upset. As someone with an objective view of the organization, I see the reasoning for moving on from him. But from his standpoint, he signed a contract, had been extremely productive during that contract, and may just have been the best player at his position in team history.

The athlete in me completely understands why he feels upset and has a chip (really, no pun intended) on his shoulder. He should be cheered when he comes back in Week 14, and his statements on Philly fans make it completely clear that if he happens to torch the Eagles in that game and celebrate in a fashion that comes off as obnoxious, it’s directed at the organization, not the fanbase.

Because regardless of how you feel about how he’s handled his exit from Philadelphia, his time in Philadelphia was really special, and that shouldn’t be lost.

Next: LeSean McCoy Says Chip Kelly ‘Got Rid’ of all the ‘Good Black Payers’