In his first two seasons as an Eagle, LeSean McCoy is living up to the Brian Westbrook comparison he was given when drafted.
As the full-time starting running back in 2010, McCoy rushed for over 1,000 yards and added almost 600 more yards receiving. He’s proven to be a true dual-threat back and is starting to get a lot more recognition around the league.
In 2011, McCoy will look to pick up right where he left off. There is no question about that. However, there is a question mark surrounding the player that will back McCoy up next season.
The Eagles have three options:
1. Resign a current player (Jerome Harrison or Eldra Buckley)
2. Sign a free-agent
3. Draft a running back
Both Harrison and Buckley have been tendered by the Eagles with Harrison being given a second-round tender and the Eagles declaring exclusive rights on Buckley. It doesn’t seem likely that Harrison will remain with the team as he’d like to be a starter and will want that type of money.
Buckley is an interesting case as he doubles as a running back and special teams player. I’ve never been a fan of him as a running back, but the Eagles may want to keep him on the team to serve a similar role to the one he played in 2010.
Free agency seems a likely option for the Eagles. There are a variety of different players with different skill sets who are available. There’s been questions about the possibility of Darren Sproles as he could double as a return man, as well as questions about bringing back Brian Westbrook, who said he’d love to return to Philly.
Although Sproles is a great player and would probably do well in the Eagles system, I think he’ll be asking for more then the Eagles are willing to give.
Westbrook showed that he can still play late last year, and the Eagles have been known to bring back players after letting them go. However, I’m not sold that this is the route they will go.
My gut says that they’ll bring in a free agent that isn’t named Sproles or Westbrook.
Then there’s the draft. Clearly, the Eagles have more pressing needs then a backup running back. It’s possible that if someone they really like falls down the board that they could make a move. However, I think they’ll look for a late round guy like they did last year.
Where the Eagles draft a running back could be affected by the expiring CBA. If something isn’t worked out before the draft, they may look more closely at the running backs that are available.
The backup running back spot is definitely overshadowed by some of the Eagles other needs, but it still remains an important decision.
Who do you think will fill the number two running back spot for the Eagles next season?