Bills running back LeSean McCoy knows what's expected of players at his position when they hit 30 years old.
"That 30 is when they start to decline," McCoy wrote Friday for The Players' Tribune. "That it’s the beginning of the end. Well … not for me. This 30-year-old is still gonna be one bad boy. I guarantee you that. I’m trying to leave a legacy, man. I’m trying to get a gold jacket someday. That’s my mindset."
McCoy shared his thoughts on everything from his love of Bills fans to the emotional highs and lows that came with ending a 17-year playoff drought, only to lose the following week to the Jaguars in a game the team "expected to win."
"I know a lot of people might not be used to that — the Bills having a winning mentality," McCoy wrote. "But that’s what Sean McDermott has brought to this franchise. Winning habits. A Winning attitude."
That's why, according to McCoy, the expectations for 2018 will be raised.
"I promise that I will give you everything I have to help us reach our ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl. Because making the playoffs isn’t the goal anymore. It’s the expectation," he concludes at the end of his essay. "And I know that when we come back next season, for us to achieve our goal, you guys are gonna need me at my absolute best.
"So I will be. And in return, I’m gonna need something from you. I’ll need you to be at your absolute craziest. I know you will be, too."
McCoy, who most recently represented the Bills in the Pro Bowl, also wrote about playing through his ankle injury against Jacksonville.
"The whole week leading up that playoff game, I didn’t even know if I was going to be able to play. My ankle was in rough shape," he wrote. "But man … the first playoff game in 17 years? They would have had to cut my damn foot off to keep me from playing."
When the team's plane touched down in Buffalo after the playoff loss, McCoy was blown away to see fans there waiting to greet them again -- just as they had a week earlier when the playoff berth was secured.
"That’s why I say: There’s nothing like Bills fans. Whether we’re winning or losing, you always have our backs," he wrote. "So thank you — for dealing with all the ups and downs … for being right there with us through all the adversity … for always sticking with us.
"That hasn’t gone unnoticed."
McCoy's performance in Buffalo the past three seasons also hasn't gone unnoticed in Philadelphia. According to a report Friday in the New York Daily News, Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman tried to reacquire the running back from the Bills.
In a feature story on how Roseman rebuilt the Eagles into a Super Bowl team, Daily News columnist Manish Mehta, citing anonymous sources, wrote that "Roseman tried to get McCoy back in a deal with Buffalo through back-channel intermediaries. One of Philly’s off-the-books offers for McCoy, who has been a Pro Bowler in each of his three seasons with the Bills, was a package of players that included wide receiver Jordan Matthews, according to sources. Matthews ultimately was traded to the Bills for cornerback Ronald Darby last summer."
Mehta's story focused on how Roseman went about fixing the mistakes made by former Eagles coach Chip Kelly. That would include dealing McCoy to the Bills in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso. He lasted just one season with the Eagles before being traded along with cornerback Byron Maxwell to the Miami Dolphins in a deal that saw the Eagles move up five spots in the draft. From there, Roseman moved up again to get into position to draft quarterback Carson Wentz second overall.
McCoy has not been shy about his animosity toward Kelly for trading him.
“I got a lot of love for Philadelphia – not the little, short coach who’s with the kids, where he belong," McCoy said two weeks ago on the NFL Network in reference to Kelly now being back in the college game at UCLA.