With all the buzz surrounding the injury to Philadelphia Eagles star left tackle Jason Peters, many fans have forgotten about the most important piece remaining on the team's agenda: re-structuring and extending the contract of prolific running back LeSean McCoy.
According to a recent report by ProFootballWeekly.com, the Eagles and McCoy's camp are optimistic about reaching a new deal before training camp, when the Pitt product would have the option to hold out.
Even with that report, we can't lose sight of what happened last season with DeSean Jackson's contract situation. In the weeks leading up to camp, the media was told by the organization that talks were going well and Jackson himself said that he was "optimistic" about reaching a new deal quickly. We all know how that turned out.
With Peters out, McCoy is definitely the best player the Eagles have at their disposal. Among running backs, he was first in rushing touchdowns (17), first in 20-plus yard runs (14), first in first downs (84), fourth in rushing yards (1309) and fifth in yards per game (87.3). In short, he is an elite back.
In fact, he makes less than the following running backs: Danny Ware, Chris Taylor, Jerome Felton, Korey Hall and Jeremy Cain. They combined to run for one-sixth of McCoy's 2011 production. Combined.
This is the time to sign McCoy to a long-term deal. The highest-paid running backs, in relation to base salary, are Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson, both coming in at $8 million. McCoy's asking price currently sits around $7 million and that seems fairly reasonable considering his production and the price of running backs around the league. In fact, he's asking for 66 percent of what DeSean Jackson got in his new deal.
If the Eagles are unable to reach a deal with McCoy because they're too busy worrying about the left tackle position, the 2012 season could end up the way 2011 did: lousy and full of regret.
Let's hope the front office takes the necessary steps to avoid that.