Don't expect Buffalo Bills star running back LeSean McCoy to be dealt anywhere, any time soon -- at least if head coach Sean McDermott has something to do with it.
The Bills head coach was asked point blank if the team is in any position to trade McCoy, and without the question even being fully asked, McDermott grinned, started shaking his head, and said, "No. No."
Watch for yourself, the body language is quite telling that McDermott isn't even thinking about it:
— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) August 24, 2017
McCoy has been the subject of some trade rumors in recent days. With the added element of both the Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby trades, there has been a sentiment around social media that anyone could be traded.
Even Bills general manager Brandon Beane dismissed the notion that anyone on the roster was untouchable.
McCoy echoed Beane and McDermott's sentiments as well when asked about it on Thursday:
"There's no trade talks. I talked to my coaches. I talked to Sean and Brandon, the GM. I have a lot of respect for the guys. We had a great conversation. I'll leave it at that. One thing about it is everybody can have their own opinions or make up things. Nowadays with social media everything is blown out of proportion. At the end of the day, the only thing I can do is control what I can control and that's being one of the best players in the NFL like I've been doing since I've been in the NFL. That's the only thing I can do. Trade me or not. Keep me here. Whatever it is. I talked to them guys and they said that's not on their radar and that's not in the plans. Only thing I can do is gear up for the Ravens and get ready to have a good year like I do every year."
As for the team's immediate plans with McCoy, they want to use him with the starters into the third quarter of their preseason game on Saturday against the Baltimore Ravens.
Joe B's Take
The Bills say they aren't in any position to trade LeSean McCoy, but, the more gripping question is... should they be?
On one hand, you see where Sean McDermott is coming from. He doesn't want to salvage the season just for draft picks, and even more so than the Sammy Watkins trade, dealing McCoy would do just that. Any lingering hope for them to win in 2017 would be thrown out the window, and even the players inside the locker room would probably start to question that decision as well.
At least with Watkins, they brought back a starting caliber wide receiver in Jordan Matthews to help bridge the gap and give Tyrod Taylor another viable target -- even if he is far less talented than Watkins. With McCoy, if you're trading him, it's likely for a substantial asset in the NFL Draft, and the caliber of player coming back -- if they were to even get one in this hypothetical deal -- would be far inferior to what McCoy is.
The Bills have one of the most talented running backs in the league, who they are primed to give a boatload of carries and catches to throughout the 2017 season. He will be the lifeblood of the entire offensive operation, and without him, the Bills will have next to no identity.
On the other hand, let's say McCoy -- a 29-year-old running back with a big contract -- could yield either a first or a second-round pick in the NFL Draft. As the Bills are currently constructed, they likely need a lot of things to go right in order to be in the mix for a playoff spot.
It's a top heavy roster where, if a few injuries are incurred, it could go south quite quickly.
With that being the case, should the Bills really turn their noses up at a first or a second round pick? I'd argue they should think about it quite heavily, rather than dismissing the notion entirely.
If the Bills were to trade McCoy, they could yield a significant asset -- and a potential starting player for years to come. However, it would also fly directly in the face of the "build for the short-term and long-term" theory that they have prided themselves on all offseason.
At least now we have some clarity, but you just have to wonder if this might be a missed opportunity for the Bills if there is at least some interest out there in McCoy.
Either way, the prized jewel of the 2017 season doesn't imminently appear to be heading anywhere other than to and from Buffalo Bills games.