Best NFL Runningback RT~Marshawn Lynch Fav~LeSean McCoy pic.twitter.com/q3cYDBdqkw
— Everything Football (@RealMenPlayFB) February 19, 2015
The Raiders may be in prime position to make some bold moves during the NFL Draft in April.
Sitting with the number four overall pick with a draft class full of studs and teams with serious needs, the Raiders could find themselves the belle of the (foot)ball with trades coming at them from every angle.
One trade that could be particularly tantalizing — and surprisingly realistic — involves the Raiders giving up their first-round pick and getting LeSean McCoy in return.
Here’s how they can get there:
As Tim Kawkami points out in his article, the Raiders have a ton of money to spend and some serious incentive to do so. Not only because they need to add on-field talent (they do) but because they are dangerously close to the league’s minimum payroll requirement (Article 12, Section 9 of the CBA requires teams to spend at least 89 percent of the salary cap during a league year. If they fail to do so, they must pay the difference back to players on the roster during the time period in which they were under the minimum).
So, to avoid another season of mediocrity and incurring needless financial penalties, the Raiders need to pay someone some serious cash, which means they need a star.
Enter the Philadelphia Eagles and LeSean McCoy.
The Eagles’ ties to this particular draft and the Raiders are strong. The Raiders hired Bill Musgrave away from the Eagles as their offensive coordinator. Chip Kelly, the Eagles’ head coach, undoubtedly wants Marcus Mariota — his last quarterback in college — on his squad.
To the Marcus Mariota point: it’s conceivable that Mariota could be available at number four. The Jaguars are at number three and they don’t necessarily need a quarterback (unless they have already given up on the Bortles experiment). Jameis Winston will certainly be going number one, and the Titans at number two still have Jake Locker, who hasn’t had a chance to prove himself yet.
And another reason the Eagles would want to get rid of McCoy: he’s incredibly pricey.
Shady has said he’s open to a restructure, but a straight cut is apparently out of the question. “I know how hard it is to keep a team together, and I want to be part of this team,” McCoy said. “But I don’t want to take less money.” Due a tall $9.75 million for 2015, Shady will count $11.95 million against the cap. McCoy is signed through 2017, so any restructure would likely involve kicking some guaranteed money to 2016. Only $1 million of Shady’s 2015 salary is guaranteed, but the Eagles would have to take on $4.4 million in dead money to cut him loose.
If that’s the case, the Raiders should be more than willing to swap their first and second round picks (perhaps even a fifth rounder?) for the Eagles’ 20th overall pick and stud running back Shady McCoy.
McCoy only had five touchdowns last season but still carried the rock for 1,317 yards at 4.2 yards per carry. Yes the Raiders have Latavius Murray, but he doesn’t even compare with McCoy. Also, think of what that backfield duo would do for the budding Derek Carr.
Could the Titans or Jaguars semi-surprise people and take Mariota? Yes. Could they instead opt for sure-to-be superstars Leonard Williams or Dante Fowler? Absolutely.
But here’s the real question: how good would LeSean Mccoy look in black and silver?