The Day Shady Got Paid

Behind the scenes of the LeSean McCoy deal.

LeSean McCoy was sleeping when he became a millionaire 45 times over. After an exhausting, roller-coaster day/off-season, he retired to his place with his closest soldiers and was catching a nap when Drew Rosenhaus texted to say a deal was imminent.

Minutes later he’d be in a room with the Rosenhaus brothers—Drew and Jason—Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, general manager Howie Roseman, and Andy Reid (President Joe Banner had to fly because of a prior commitment), shaking hands and going over the particulars of a contract that just hours ago seemed miles away.

Camp McCoy had heard these deals could come together at light speed. When LeSean and Arian Foster were up at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut together back in March, Foster explained that his negotiations unfolded in the exact same manner. Far apart, far apart and then boom—the leverage game gives way to true intentions.

Foster’s words were not just prophetic—his contract (five years, $43.5 million, $20.75 million guaranteed) was the blueprint used to get McCoy’s extension (five years, $45 million, $20.765 million guaranteed) done.

Optimism began to creep in when Andy Reid publicly stated that talks were headed in the right direction the week prior. But those positive vibes were dampened by an offer from the Eagles that was considered well off the mark.

There was some real agita over how to proceed. The OTAs were coming up, and a decision would have to be made on whether to attend or stay away. As a player who prides himself on putting team first, it was not a position McCoy felt comfortable being in.

The Eagles were sweating as well. The off-season was dedicated to restoring peace and good will, and a holdout by their best player would undo much of what they had accomplished to date.

It was the exact amount of pressure needed to put things on the fast track.

On Thursday morning, the Rosenhaus brothers and McCoy’s confidants waited for LeSean to finish his workout at the NovaCare Complex, then headed to Chickie’s and Pete’s to strategize. A plan cemented, Drew and Jason left for Eagles headquarters while LeSean went back to his place. This is when the Rosenhaus’ were greeted by an unusual sight: Reid sitting at the negotiation table to ensure a deal was struck.

It worked. McCoy was woken up by the life-changing text a short time later.

Soon, the media was being called over for the official announcement. Reid, McCoy, Roseman all in a row. The running back carrying the look of a man who just got knocked in the head by a duffel bag of gold. His agent stage left, beaming. The soldiers shaking their heads in amazement, confounded by how fast everything unfolded after months of stagnation.

Riding on adrenaline alone, McCoy and his crew capped the night with a relatively low-key dinner before turning in. The real celebrating would wait until tomorrow.