Reports of the Buffalo Bills going head on into tank mode appear to be a tad on the exaggerated side.
Per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the Bills are not actively shopping running back LeSean McCoy. This comes on the heels of numerous unsubstantiated rumors saying the team was listening to trade offers, likely involving multiple draft picks.
Report: Buffalo Bills Will Not Entertain Trade Offers for LeSean McCoy
The possibility of a McCoy trade emerged under the assumption that the Bills are planning to throw in the towel for the 2017 season, while building for the future. That sentiment received a fair bit of reinforcement when the team traded Sammy Watkins to the L.A. Rams and Ronald Darby to the Philadelphia Eagles on August 11th. Buffalo acquired a second and third round pick in next year’s draft as a result of those transactions.
Such a scenario would certainly add to a growing sense of doom and gloom surrounding the Bills skill position players. Wide receiver Jordan Matthews, who came to the team in the deal that sent Darby to Philly, suffered a chip fracture in his sternum during his first practice with the team. And Anquan Boldin, signed by the Bills on August 7th, announced his retirement 13 days later.
Florio emphasized that such a move isn’t necessarily in the team’s best interest from a salary cap standpoint. Trading McCoy only adds $1 million in cap space to the Bills books for 2017. Over the remaining three years of his current contract, Buffalo would save $11.125 million against the cap in the event of a trade, according to OverTheCap.com.
McCoy is coming off one of his more dynamic campaigns from a pure production standpoint. The 29-year-old racked up 1,267 rushing yards, good enough for sixth-best in the NFL. His 13 rushing touchdowns ranked as the second highest total of his career, bested only by his 17 scores back in 2011.
For now, the veteran speedster remains a part of the Bills short and intermediate-term plans. It includes a likely expanded role in Saturday’s third preseason game at the Baltimore Ravens. McCoy didn’t play in the Bills preseason opener against the Vikings and had just four carries for 21 yards in last week’s 20-16 loss to the Eagles.