Moments before LeSean McCoy took center stage, an Eagles representative handed out a card that listed some of the star’s favorite things.
His favorite food: Hot dogs and beans.
After signing a five-year, $45 million contract extension Thursday, it might be time to invest heavily in Hatfield. McCoy was all smiles as he plopped down in a chair between head coach Andy Reid and GM Howie Roseman.
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"These guys know how great I am,” McCoy joked
Reid touched one of the two shiny Eagles helmets in front of him and deadpanned, “I’m going to need a bigger one of these.”
McCoy wasted no time thanking everyone, from owner Jeffrey Lurie to his older brother, LeRon, to his “crazy relationship” with agent Drew Rosenhaus, whom he briefly fired. He also announced that he was a proud new father.
“I want to thank you guys for being loyal since day one of my rookie year when I slipped to the second round, and you always told me hard work will pay off," McCoy said. "I love this team, and I’m kind of a hometown kid from Harrisburg, which is like an hour and a half away. Nothing could be better than being here for the long-term.”
Reid has hinted throughout the offseason that this deal was imminent, that negotiations were ongoing and positive. The coach re-iterated that by saying both he and Roseman keep an open-door policy for all their players.
“We try to keep everything up front and real,” Reid said.
McCoy, dressed in a navy blue button down and black dress pants, couldn’t hide as Reid uttered the last word, his trademark smile on display for the masses. McCoy will be in midnight green through the 2017 season. His salary, which includes $20.7 million in guaranteed money, makes him the third-highest paid running back in football.
“We just wanted to get a good deal done and we thought he should receive something comparable to the top four guys at his position,” Rosenhaus said. “LeSean never asked to be the No. 1 guy.”
McCoy’s contract is virtually the same one that Houston’s Arian Foster received.
“I think a lot of the deals are structured by peers,” McCoy said. “I’m just honored to be in the range financially with those guys.”
McCoy, of course, is coming off a career year where he set franchise records with 17 rushing touchdowns and 20 total touchdowns. His 1,309 rushing yards were fourth-best in the entire NFL. Now, with a bank account full of zeroes, the expectations are even higher. That’s fine with McCoy. Bring it on.
“Sure, guys like new contracts and stats but the main goal is to win a championship, and I think we’re all on the same page,” McCoy said. “The main goal is to bring a championship to Philadelphia.”
Meet the new Andy Reid
“Next question,” boomed LeSean McCoy.
Drew Rosenhaus just laughed and informed the assembled media that it wasn’t him who had said those infamous words. Not this time.
Rosenhaus has a reputation in this town — and with the Eagles organization — that was born back when Terrell Owens was doing sit-ups in his driveway. Apparently, those days are gone. Rosenhaus, who claims six Eagles players as clients, including McCoy and DeSean Jackson, has nothing but kind words for Philadelphia these days.
“Yeah, there’s no question,” Rosenhaus said, when asked if he noticed an attitude change from seven years ago. “To me, the Eagles are one of the more aggressive ballclubs in terms of keeping their players, and guys want to stay here. There’s great stability here. It’s impressive. It’s a great city. It’s a perennial winner and guys enjoy playing here.”
The most noticeable change was in the head coach. Rosenhaus said Andy Reid was involved in every step of the negotiation process. He even sat in on contract talks, something that few coaches do in the NFL.
“I think the fact that this deal got done was because Andy Reid really wanted to see LeSean stay with the Eagles,” Rosenhaus said. “When we were working on this deal, Coach Reid was sitting in on the meetings and it wasn’t so much that he was taking sides, he just wanted to see it get done. This is the most involved that I’ve seen him.”
Tuesday deadline? No coincidence
For months, the thought was that if the Eagles didn’t sign LeSean McCoy by training camp, he might hold out. Why would a star, in the prime of his career, want to risk severe injury? We’re talking about practice, after all.
Drew Rosenhaus denied there was a definitive deadline. However, the agent said it wasn’t pure coincidence that the Eagles begin OTAs Tuesday at the NovaCare Complex.
“I don’t think it’s coincidence that it had to do with the OTAs,” Rosenhaus said. “Guys get hurt, on and off the field, and when you’re in a negotiation like this and all that money is on the line, and you’re about to go to OTAs, you do want to get it resolved.”
McCoy said the thought of getting injured never crossed his mind.
“As a running back, you’re always going to get banged up quite a bit,” he said. “It’s a physical sport, and I never had those kinds of thoughts going into a game or after a game.”