LeSean McCoy ran his way onto the short list of the best running backs in the NFL. He can now stamp his name among the highest paid.
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McCoy and the Philadelphia Eagles agreed to a five-year contract extension that runs through 2017. The deal is for a reported $45 million, with $20.765 million guaranteed.
McCoy set franchise records in 2011 with 17 touchdowns rushing, and 20 total scores, while earning All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors. He also led the NFL with 102 first downs and 48 runs of 10-plus yards, while finishing as the league’s fourth-leading rusher with 1,309 yards.
”I love this team, and I’m kind of a hometown kid from Harrisburg which is like an hour and a half away,” McCoy said Thursday night. ”Nothing could be better than being here for the long term. Once you kind of realize the feeling of wanting to be here for the long term, we contacted the team and it was a mutual feeling. So, it kicked off from there.”
In 2010, McCoy ranked fourth in the NFL with 1,672 yards from scrimmage while leading all running backs with a career-high 78 catches.
Philadelphia had a disappointing 4-8 start last season, before rallying with four straight wins to end the year. The Eagles did not make the playoffs.
Usually called by childhood nickname, Shady, McCoy was Philadelphia’s 2009 second-round draft pick out of Pittsburgh. He has played in 46 games, with 32 starts, and has registered 4,241 yards from scrimmage.
”He does it all, so this isn’t a one-dimensional running back,” coach Andy Reid said. ”This is a running back that can not only carry the football for you but can catch the football as well as the wide receivers and he can block and loves playing the game. That brings great energy to this football team.”
He had one year left on his original four-year rookie contract.
The Eagles already this offseason signed wide receiver DeSean Jackson to a five-year contract that runs through 2016 and acquired two-time Pro Bowl linebacker DeMeco Ryans from the Houston Texans. They signed defensive end Trent Cole to a four-year extension through 2017 and tackle Todd Herremans to a three-year extension through 2016.
The Eagles believe they have the pieces in place to again become contenders in the NFC. McCoy doesn’t turn 24 until July, giving the Eagles hope they can get a full five years of use out of McCoy, even at a rugged position like running back.
”It’s exciting because we are trying to build for the long term,” Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said. ”We’re trying to bring a championship to the city of Philadelphia and we’re going to do whatever we can to do that, but on the same token, we’re going to try and keep building it and sustain some success. Keeping him here is a big piece of that.”
McCoy now his name up there with Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Steven Jackson and DeAngelo Williams as one of the highest-paid running backs. Minnesota’s Peterson signed a $100 million, seven-year contract before last season. Johnson signed a $53.5 million contract extension worth $30 million guaranteed with Tennessee before last season.
”I’m just honored to be in the range financially with those guys,” McCoy said.
McCoy ran for 2,731 yards in his two seasons, and posted 38 total touchdowns at Pitt.