Bills GM Brandon Beane stands by LeSean McCoy after lawsuit: Focus on football, not 'this little thing'

The strategy for the Buffalo Bills with LeSean McCoy remains crystal clear: stick to football unless forced to do otherwise. (AP)

On Friday, LeSean McCoy’s ex-girlfriend filed a lawsuit against the Buffalo Bills running back seeking damages for a home invasion, burglary and assault that she didn’t directly name him in, but held him responsible for.

The lawsuit filed by Delicia Cordon claims that McCoy and his friend Tamarcus Porter are “liable for the assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress” she says she suffered during a July 10 home invasion at a Georgia home the couple shared. 

In the suit, Cordon also accuses McCoy of abusing his son and beating his dog throughout their relationship.

Bills GM on lawsuit: ‘Anything can become a distraction’

Bills general manager Brandon Beane spoke with the Associated Press on Tuesday in the team’s first public response since the lawsuit was filed. 

“Anything can become a distraction if you let it, but to this point, LeSean has done a great job, his teammates have done a great job,” he said. “Other than when this little thing came up yesterday, nobody’s talked about it. The focus here has been on football. And I expect that to continue as long as it’s an open investigation.”

The “little thing,” of course, is the lawsuit. And Beane’s response falls in line with the Bills’ ongoing approach of staying out of the discipline business as long as there are no criminal charges.

McCoy not facing any criminal charges

The incident became public on July 10 when a friend of Cordon’s created an Instagram post blaming McCoy for the alleged invasion that left her battered and bloodied and robbed of jewelry that McCoy had given her.

McCoy said he was out of town on July 10 and has denied the allegations. Police called the incident a “targeted” home invasion at the time, but have had little to say publicly since the initial investigation. No charges have been filed, and McCoy has not been named as a suspect.

Bills co-owner Kim Pegula expressed surprise last week that there wasn’t more information from authorities on the case.

“Like we’ve said, it’s an investigation that’s going to be ongoing,” Pegula told The Athletic. “Actually, I’m surprised we really haven’t heard anything more from it, but it’s kind of out of our hands right now.”

Bills GM Brandon Beane has made clear that the team does not plan to act on LeSean McCoy until authorities do. (AP)

Bills stick to business while NFL remains silent

The lack of information from authorities allows the Bills to conduct business as usual and explains why the NFL, which has taken an inconsistent disciplinary approach to domestic violence since the Ray Rice case, has remained mostly silent on the alleged incident.

Last year, the NFL suspended Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott based on a league investigation into allegations from an ex-girlfriend that he abused her. Like with McCoy so far, Elliott was never charged with a crime. He got a six-game ban regardless.

In June, the NFL handed down a three-game suspension against Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston after an Uber driver accused him of drunkenly groping her during a late-night ride. Like with Elliott, that ban was based on a league investigation in a case where no criminal charges were filed.

In 2016, the NFL suspended New York Giants kicker Josh Brown for one game despite his ex-wife accusing him of being physically violent with her more than 20 times and there being 911 calls and police records to back up the accusations.

The league changed its mind a year later and suspended Brown for six games. But by then Brown’s career was over and the suspension was moot.

NFL could act down the road

The league’s investigation into Elliott took place over the course of several months. From the outside, there’s no telling where the Cordon incident will go and if the league will take further action to investigate McCoy.

For the Bills, the strategy remains crystal clear. Keep your head in the sand, and only come up for air when the conversation’s about football.

“Nothing’s changed, and we see LeSean here for the future,” Beane said. “You take all allegations seriously, but until the police say there’s something there, we’re not going to act on anything without them saying there’s legit evidence.” 

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