Shady's cap hit, future with Eagles

Last offseason, LeSean McCoy inked a five-year, $45 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. Then, he went out and led the NFL in rushing. In other words, the Eagles got the requisite bang for the bucks.

However, as is the case with most contracts, a time likely will come when his impact on the field will be outweighed by the impact his contract has against the Eagles' salary cap. That time could come sooner than you might expect.

"McCoy is secure this season, of course, not only because of his value to the Eagles but because it would cost them more against the cap to cut him ($13.75 million) than it is to keep him ($9.7 million), according to the salary database Spotrac," wrote Mike Sielski of Philly.com.

"But in 2015, he's due to cost them $11.95 million against the cap if he remains on the roster -- and just $4.4 million if they let him go. They'd open more cap room by releasing McCoy next year than they did by releasing Jackson this year."

If McCoy continues to dominate as one of the league's top rushers, then the notion of cutting him would seem outlandish. On the other hand, things beyond his control can factor into such a decision.

"What if McCoy suffers a serious injury? What if Jeremy Maclin plays well enough to command a long-term deal? And what about Nick Foles?" Sielski asked.

McCoy has been dinged up at times during his career, Maclin is playing on a one-year deal, and Foles will be eligible for a new contract at the end of the 2014 campaign. If Shady does get hurt or Maclin stays healthy and shines or Foles earns a high-end contract, the Eagles may well have some tough decisions to make regarding McCoy's contractual situation. Reworking his deal may be the more likely outcome than actually releasing the star running back, though.