Philadelphia Eagles Must Rework LeSean McCoy's Contract

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Philadelphia Eagles Must Rework LeSean McCoy's Contract
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Pay the man.

Andy Reid pulled off something magical this year: He managed to mess up the Eagles on and off the field.

Faced with a potential quarterback controversy and a dilemma involving Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick, Reid did what everyone else would do: He gave the keys of the franchise to Michael Vick and signed him to a six-year deal worth $100 million, with $35.5 of it guaranteed.

It didn't matter that Kolb had no leverage to force a trade and that Vick had a long history of not staying healthy.

Reid went with it and the Eagles are now left wondering if Vick is the long-term solution.

The quarterback mishap was somehow overshadowed by Reid's handling of the defensive personnel.

Reid ignored the linebacker and safety positions and handed free-agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha a five-year, $60 million deal, including $25 million guaranteed. On top of that, the Eagles had to fork over $5.9 million to Asante Samuel and $1,128,750 to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

To make matters worse, Reid butchered the DeSean Jackson situation, even though he went through something similar with Terrell Owens in 2005. Owens wanted more money, Reid and the front office played hardball and the Eagles were ultimately burned.

Fast forward to 2011. Reid and the front office took the same approach with another disgruntled wideout and to no one's surprise, the Eagles got burned again.

Thankfully, the season will end in less than one month, and with it, Reid can take the first step in making things right in Philadelphia. This is assuming owner Jeffrey Lurie brings him back, of course.

But even if Reid is gone, LeSean McCoy's contract should become one of the biggest priorities.

As much as fans want Juan Castillo canned or a big-named linebacker signed, everyone should pray McCoy's contract is reworked and that he remains an Eagle for at least the next five years.

McCoy will find himself in the last year of his contract in 2012, when he is scheduled to make $575,000, which is $25,000 less than what Jackson made this year.

It's incredible to think McCoy could finish as the leading rusher in the NFL this year and yet find himself making less than long snapper Jon Dorenbos. 

Put yourself in McCoy's shoes. You have 12 rushing touchdowns, average 5.3 yards per carry and you're only 23 years old. As you think about those things, you see running back Matt Forte go down with an MCL sprain while he is in the midst of a contract dispute with the Chicago Bears.

It would make any reasonable man think twice about putting his health at risk without being financially secure. It would take an equally unreasonable franchise to think not signing McCoy to a contract extension would be a wise move.

Despite a poor past with receivers, the Eagles did handle Brian Westbrook's contract situation well. While things were going south with Owens, the front office signed Westbrook to a five-year extension and avoided any headaches.

If history does repeat itself and Jackson is playing the role of Owens, then McCoy would certainly qualify as Westbrook.

Not only is he facing the prospect of being underpaid, but he is also a versatile weapon who opens things up for every player on the offensive side of the ball.

Even if McCoy wasn't having a career year, it is pretty obvious he is the kind of player to build a team around along with left tackle Jason Peters.

Let's say Vick isn't the answer. Do you want to bring in a young quarterback without a stable left tackle and without the support of a strong running game? Even if Vick is the answer, it still makes sense to take the heat off of him with good protection up front and the ability to run the ball effectively.

In a year filled with awful decisions, the Eagles are due to make a good decision in the upcoming offseason.

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