THE idea of trading away RB LeSean McCoy is just speculation at this point. In all truth, there’s been more talk of cutting him (because of his salary) than there’s been of trading him. For his part, McCoy has said he’d like to be back but “I can’t control it”. Whether he’s traded or simply released, it’s important to have a plan to replace him.
Keep in mind, the idea of replacing McCoy is just about getting a guy who can create problems for a defense. It not about getting a clone of the guy we lost. We didn’t replace Brian Westbrook with a Westbrook, or Duce Staley with a Staley. Yet both times we were in good hands, as players already on the roster stepped up. So let’s see what we already have on the shelves!
RB Darren Sproles is a nifty player, but he’s 190 pounds and will be 32 when next season rolls around. Last season McCoy carried 312 times, and in 2013 he carried 314 times. Sproles’ career high is 93 carries. In 2009. And his game logs from that year show that he was less effective when given more carries.
RB Chris Polk is intriguing. While he’s played 29 of 32 games in the last two years, and has looked good when he touches the ball, he carries the knock of being fragile due to a mysterious shoulder condition. I say mysterious because running down clear information about Polk’s shoulder was annoying and repetitive. But I DID IT. It’s DONE.
Let me nutshell it for you: (In 2011 while in college, Polk had labrum surgery. NFL teams were concerned about his shoulder having a degenerative or chronic problem, so Polk had it looked at by renowned sports surgeon, James Andrews. The good doctor said that there was some scarring (meaning tissue not skin) from the surgery, but that there was nothing chronic or degenerative. Many teams said “Yeah. Right.” and Polk went undrafted and signed here.)
Polk had major shoulder surgery in January 2014, and while nowhere can I confirm if it’s the same shoulder, it would be somehow worse to find out that it isn’t. In the event that it is the same shoulder he had labrum surgery on in 2011, it would lend credence to teams worrying about his durability, and would raise questions about whether or not he could be the guy to replace McCoy.
Recently the team re-signed RB’s Matt Tucker and Kenjon Barner (I shit you not) to the reserve list, but it’s a long way from off-the-street, to 300 carry a year starter.
Then of course there are various RB prospects in the Draft, but I’m going to save that until after Free Agency (March 10th). Right now I’m mostly going to pay attention to what we already have in the cupboard and Unrestricted Free Agents.