Dec 20, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back LeSean McCoy (25) runs the ball against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half of a NFL game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

LeSean McCoy signs 1-day contract to retire with Eagles

Two-time All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy is signing a one-day contract with Philadelphia and will retire as an Eagle on Friday.

McCoy, 33, and the team made the announcement Thursday.

“After 12 years in the NFL, I’ve decided to retire an Eagle because this is home to me. I still have that green inside my heart,” McCoy wrote in an article published on the team’s website.

“There are times when I’d see the Eagles on TV, and it just felt weird not wearing that uniform. … I’ve just always seen myself as an Eagle. It’s only right to come back home and retire an Eagle.”

McCoy earned Pro Bowl honors six times, four with the Eagles. He made All-Pro in 2011 and 2013, also with the Eagles. He led the NFL with 2,146 yards from scrimmage in ’13. He led the league with 20 rushing and receiving touchdowns in ’11.

McCoy is a two-time Super Bowl champ, having hooked on with Kansas City in 2019 and Tampa Bay last season.

He finishes with 11,102 rushing yards and 73 TDs in 170 games (141 starts) with the Eagles (2009-14), Buffalo Bills (2015-18), Chiefs and Bucs. He also had 518 career catches for 3,898 yards and 16 TDs.

McCoy was traded away to the Bills by then-Eagles coach Chip Kelly, who lasted one game short of three seasons in Philly.

“The only regret I’ve ever had was not spending my entire career as an Eagle,” McCoy wrote. “I grew up in Harrisburg, played my college football at Pittsburgh, and was drafted by the Eagles. I never thought it would have been like that, but it would have been so cool to finish my career only having played in this one state.”

The Eagles selected McCoy in the second round of the 2009 draft.

–Field Level Media

Oct 4, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back LeSean McCoy (25) runs the ball against the Los Angeles Chargers in the first quarter of a NFL game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs RBs McCoy, Barner injured vs. Chargers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running backs LeSean McCoy and Kenjon Barner each sustained an injury during Sunday’s home game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

McCoy injured his ankle and Barner was ruled out with a concussion for the Buccaneers, who were playing without fellow running back Leonard Fournette (ankle).

Ronald Jones II and Ke’Shawn Vaugn are the lone remaining healthy running backs for Tampa Bay.

McCoy rushed one time for 3 yards before he was injured. He has two rushes for minus-2 yards on the season.

Barner was injured after he was targeted on an incomplete pass.

–Field Level Media

Sep 3, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II (27) dances during training camp at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Arians says Jones still the starter in Bucs’ backfield

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians reiterated Thursday that Ronald Jones is still the starter in the team’s ever-crowded backfield despite the signing of Leonard Fournette.

Arians said last month that Jones would “carry the load” for the team this season, and that was before the arrival of Fournette, whom the Bucs signed Wednesday.

“It’s his job. Nothing’s changed for him,” Arians said of Jones. “We’ve just added a heck of a piece of insurance and [we’ll] see what kind of role he can cut out,” Arians said. “But RoJo — it’s his job if he wins it or loses it. He’s already got it, so he’s gonna have to screw it up. I don’t see that happening.”

Arians said 32-year-old LeSean McCoy, who has rushed for 11,071 yards in 11 NFL seasons, “is ready for his role” after signing with the team in August.

Tampa Bay also drafted two running backs (Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Raymond Calais) in April. The roster also includes Dare Ogunbowale, who caught 35 passes for 286 yards out of the Bucs’ backfield in 2019.

Jones, who turned 23 last month, led the Bucs in carries (172) and rushing yards (724) and tied for the team lead with six rushing touchdowns in 2019. He added 31 catches for 309 yards in 16 games.

Fournette is expected to practice with the team Tuesday, at the earliest, after completing his physical and COVID-19 testing protocol. Arians said Fournette could possibly play against the New Orleans Saints in Week 1.

“If I know him, he’ll be pretty fast-paced,” Arians said. “So we’ll try to get him up to speed as fast as we can and see if he can have a role for next week.”

Fournette was placed on waivers Monday after the Jacksonville Jaguars failed to trade the No. 4 overall pick from the 2017 draft. Fournette, who was entering the final year of his contract, cleared waivers and became a free agent Tuesday afternoon.

ESPN reported Fournette, 25, filed a grievance against the Jaguars to recoup his $4.17 million base salary.

He had 2,631 rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns in three seasons with the Jaguars. Last year, Fournette amassed 1,152 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 265 carries in 15 games for Jacksonville. He added a career-high 76 receptions for 522 yards.

–Field Level Media

Oct 17, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back LeSean McCoy (25) runs the ball in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

RB McCoy happy to be part of ‘something special’ in Tampa Bay

LeSean McCoy signed his one-year contract with the Buccaneers and told the media on Tuesday just how happy he is to be a part of the team in Tampa Bay.

“I mean come on. I’m in Tampa. Nice weather. And I’m playing with Tom Brady. How do you beat that?” the running back said via video conference.

McCoy could prove to be a bargain for the Buccaneers after signing a $1.05 million deal. He joins a team anchored by Brady, wide receiver Mike Evans and tight end Rob Gronkowski that is complemented with plenty of young talent.

He said his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles, reached out, but in the end he found a better fit with the Buccaneers.

“Just to be on this team and be able to help out and be part of it,” he said of his choice of the Buccaneers. “They’re doing something special here. I truly believe that, so any way possible, I want to be able to help out and contribute.”

He took part in a team workout on Tuesday and said Brady’s accuracy was on point.

“As he’s throwing the ball, I heard a couple of the guys whispering, ‘Dang, how many years do you think he’ll play?’ That’s how good he looked — seriously,” McCoy said. “Me and Gronk talked about it — his will to win, his will to go out there and still keep doing it. Once you see a guy like that kind of display that attitude, you want to be a part of it. It says to me like, ‘Man, how much longer can I do it?’ He looked good today. He looked in good shape. He threw the ball very well. He’s like a coach with a helmet on.”

This is the 32-year-old’s fourth team after spending last season with the Kansas City Chiefs. McCoy played in 13 games (nine starts) and rushed for 465 yards and four touchdowns during the regular season. He played only one snap and didn’t record a stat during the Chiefs’ run through the playoffs to the Super Bowl title.

The Chiefs signed McCoy to a one-year deal in September after he was released by the Buffalo Bills. McCoy became less involved in Kansas City’s offense as the season wore on and was inactive for Super Bowl LIV.

The six-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time first-team All-Pro joins Ronald Jones, Dare Ogunbowale and third-round draft pick Ke’Shawn Vaughn at the top of the Bucs’ backfield. TJ Logan and Raymond Calais are also vying for spots on the team. Vaughn was put on the COVID-19/reserve list this week.

McCoy has rushed for 11,071 yards in his career, third among active players behind only Frank Gore and Adrian Peterson and 22nd in NFL history. McCoy has 73 career touchdowns. The Eagles selected him in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

Five Players/Owners in the AFC East Who Are Involved With New Sports

Rob Gronkowski – TE New England Patriots
Tom Brady’s favorite target plays Call of Duty the same way he plays on the football field: Aggressively.
“I like to run right up on you when I play,” Gronk told Jon Robinson at ESPN, “I’m the type of gamer who wants to grab the shotgun and go looking for you. It’s just not me, it’s not my personality, to sit back somewhere and wait for the action to happen. I’m out there making things happen.”
He did that interview back in 2012 during the Modern Warfare 3 era of COD. Back then he called the graphics amazing, saying “it feels like you’re out there in real life.”
Since Modern Warfare 3 there have been six COD titles with the next – Black Ops 4 – set to release in October. If Gronk thought the graphics were good back then, COD WWII probably blew his mind as it is by far the most realistic title to date.
Robert Kraft – Owner New England Patriots
Kraft is one of the most recognizable owners in the league and is also one of the few who have bought into esports in a big way. When Blizzard created the Overwatch League and opened spots for regional franchises, they put a $20 million price tag on each spot in the league.
In doing so, they priced out all but the largest of the endemic esports organizations and it’s clear Blizzard was focused on getting traditional sports owners to buy into esports.
It worked. The OWL attracted ownership groups led by Andy Miller and Mark Mastrov from the Sacramento Kings, Jeff Wilpon from the New York Mets, and Ed Snider from the Philadelphia Flyers. It also included NFL owners Stan Kroenke and Kraft whose Kraft Group bought into the league and named the team the Boston Uprising.
The Uprising was a middle of the pack team most of the year but went on a tear in Stage 3 when they went undefeated through ten games. On the back of that performance they made the first Overwatch League playoffs and will face off against Snider and the Philadelphia Fusion in the first round beginning on July 11th.

Kiko Alonso – LB Miami Dolphins
The former Duck star – as an Oregon graduate I am obligated to mention the university when I can, it’s in the student handbook – Alonso has made a name for himself as one of the best linebackers in the NFL, despite battling injuries and trades throughout his five years in the league.
He has been on three different teams going from the Bills to the Eagles in exchange for LeSean McCoy (more on him later) and then to the Dolphins for a first round pick. When moving around so much, it can be hard to bond with teammates but when arriving in Miami, Alonso used Call of Duty to mesh with fellow linebacker Jelani Jenkins.
“We’ve been playing some ‘Call of Duty,’ Jenkins told ESPN’s James Walker. “We’ve actually gone out to eat a little bit. He lives right near me. He lives by the beach. We just hang out. We have a lot of time off with this phase, so we get a chance to just kick it.”
It’s a team-building exercise that is popular around the league with players on every team playing Call of Duty and most playing with their teammates.
Teddy Bridgewater – QB New York Jets
When he joined the Minnesota Vikings, Bridgewater began studying the playbook immediately. He did so by playing Madden with the Vikings playbook which he imported into the game. It was a strategy he also employed while at Louisville, and it seemed to work out well for him there.
“I try to take as many reps as I can, whether it’s on a video game, playing Madden or in the playbook, just drawing it or just visualizing it in my head,” Bridgewater said to ESPN’s Ben Goessling in 2014. “I try to just maximize every rep I can get and every opportunity that I can take.”
As he was recovering from his nasty injury in 2016, the closest Bridgewater could get to actual reps was through Madden. At the very least it allowed him to keep testing routes and make sure his field vision was still on-point.
Considering it’s a strategy he employed through his last two stops, he has likely already imported the Jets playbook into his game and is working through the new offense. He showed flashes of brilliance through his first two seasons in the NFL but now will join a crowded QB competition with Josh McCown and top pick Sam Darnold for the starting position in New York.
LeSean McCoy – RB Buffalo Bills
Even though Shady called out Kiko Alonso on Instagram after the two were swapped in a trade, they do share a commonality in bonding with their teammates over Call of Duty.
“[When I was the Eagles] we will all just link up, we call things out in game and that’s your teammate so you kinda bond with them while you play the game,” McCoy told The Post Game in this video.
McCoy was facing off against Bengals WR AJ Green in a Call of Duty: Ghosts grudge match during that video. They also faced off in Madden, which Shady won.
“I’ve been a fan [of COD] for so long. I’m not a big game guy but I get up for Call of Duty. Wherever I go I gotta have Call of Duty tucked away,” McCoy said in the video. “Madden update I beat [Green] so now I gotta figure I’ll beat him in COD.”
McCoy won the grudge match with a score of 4-1 but Green wasn’t taking the L sitting down.
“You cheating mayne, you been watching my screen,” Green said to McCoy, jokingly.
Anybody who has played video games against their friends knows the arguments screen-peeking can cause, and it’s true for these guys as well, they just happen to also have 13 combined pro bowls.
This is the sixth article in a series looking at the overlap of the NFL and esports. All the NFC divisions and the AFC West can be found here.