LeSean McCoy to Retire with Eagles After 12-Year NFL Career

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2021

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back LeSean McCoy (25) runs with the football against the Denver Broncos in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept.. 27, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/Justin Edmonds)
Justin Edmonds/Associated Press

Veteran running back LeSean McCoy will formally announce his retirement with the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday after 12 NFL seasons.

Philadelphia Eagles @Eagles

Tomorrow, @CutonDime25 comes home to retire an Eagle. Congratulations on an incredible career! #FlyEaglesFly https://t.co/V9EleXhtcp

The 33-year-old walks away as the Eagles' all-time leading rusher (6,792 yards) after six seasons with the organization. He made six Pro Bowls and earned two All-Pro nods, and his 11,102 career rushing yards are the third-most ever for a player selected in the second round of the draft, per Pro Football Reference.

McCoy signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ahead of the 2020 season as they loaded up upon adding Tom Brady. Not surprisingly, he was used sparingly in a backfield that already included Ronald Jones II and subsequently added Leonard Fournette.

He logged just 10 carries, running for 31 yards. He also caught 15 passes for 101 yards.

In general, the Pitt alumnus had been trending in the wrong direction prior to 2020. He averaged 3.2 yards per carry for the Buffalo Bills in 2018 before the Bills cut him the following August. He remained somewhat productive in a limited role for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019, but his 646 yards from scrimmage were a career low until his 2021 campaign. The Pennsylvania native won a championship ring with the Chiefs but was inactive for the Super Bowl LIV.

Through his first 10 years, McCoy had 2,821 total touches, the 17th-most in NFL history, per Pro Football Reference. All of the hits he absorbed over that period seem to be adding up for the 5'11", 210-pound ball-carrier.

As Super Bowl LV approached, he said retirement would be a possibility if the Buccaneers took down the Chiefs:

James Palmer @JamesPalmerTV

"If I get two championships with all my resume, it might be over. But you never know, so I think I’ll just take it every day and I’ll revisit that when the time presents itself.” - LeSean McCoy

The Bucs started gunning for a championship from the moment they brought Brady aboard, and they left nothing to chance. They lured Rob Gronkowski out of retirement and signed Antonio Brown as he was finishing up his eight-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.

If head coach Bruce Arians thought McCoy was his best or second-best option on the ground, then he presumably would've factored more into the offense.

Perhaps McCoy could have landed on his feet elsewhere in 2021, but his days as a lead runner were gone. He doesn't have anything left to prove, either.

In his prime, McCoy was one of the NFL's most versatile running backs, and he tasted the team success that eluded him with the Bills, Eagles and Bucs in the twilight of his career.