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

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.

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LeSean McCoy through his NFL career
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LeSean McCoy through his NFL career
PHILADELPHIA - 2009: LeSean McCoy of the Philadelphia Eagles poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by NFL Photos)
PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 1: Running back LeSean McCoy #29 of the Philadelphia Eagles carries the ball during a game against the New York Giants on November 1, 2009 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO - NOVEMBER 15: Running back LeSean McCoy #29 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs the ball during the game against the San Diego Chargers on November 15, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Chargers defeated the Eagles 31-23. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: LeSean McCoy #25 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on during a NFL game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on September 26, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Michael DeHoog/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
(EXCLUSIVE) (L-R) LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson and Jason Avant of the Philadelphia Eagles pose backstage after winning the award for 'Best Game' at The 2011 ESPY Awards held at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 13, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 30: LeSean McCoy #25 of the Philadelphia Eagles carries the ball during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field on October 30, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Cowboys 34-7. (Photo by Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 11: Running back LeSean McCoy #25 of the Philadelphia Eagles plays against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Eagles defeated the Dolphins 26-10. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 01: NFL Running Back LeSean McCoy of the Philadelphia Eagles and offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod of the New Orleans Saints (accepting award for Quaterback Drew Drew Brees) pose with the FedEx Air and Ground NFL Players of the Year awards during a news conference prior to Super Bowl XLVI. In honor of the winners' great seasons, FedEx will donate $25,000 to each of their local New Orleans and Philadelphia Junior Achievement chapters to support the next generation of entrepreneurs in their communities. at JW Marriott on February 1, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for FedEx,)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 30: LeSean McCoy #25 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs during the game against the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field on September 30, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia Eagles won 19-17. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Philadelphia Eagles/Getty Images)
LeSean McCoy, Eagles during the New York Giants V Philadelphia Eagles NFL American Football match at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ, USA. 30th December 2012. Photo Tim Clayton (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 27: Running back LeSean McCoy #25 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs against the New York Giants during the first quarter of a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 27, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Vick recovered the fumble. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 17: LeSean McCoy #25 of the Philadelphia Eagles observes the national anthem before the game against the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field on November 17, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles won 24-16. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Philadelphia Eagles/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 08: LeSean McCoy #25 of the Philadelphia Eagles carries the ball in the third quarter against the Detroit Lions on December 8, 2013 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 16: NFL player LeSean McCoy attends the 2014 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 15: LeSean McCoy #25 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on against the Indianapolis Colts during the game at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 15, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Eagles defeated the Colts 30-27. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 23: LeSean McCoy #25 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans in the second quarter of the game at Lincoln Financial Field on November 23, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13: LeSean McCoy #25 of the Buffalo Bills on the sideline during NFL game action against the Indianapolis Colts at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 13, 2015 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
SYRACUSE, NY - NOVEMBER 08: LeSean McCoy #25 of the Buffalo Bills runs with the ball against the Miami Dolphins during the second quarter at Ralph Wilson Stadium on November 8, 2015 in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo defeated Miami 33-17. (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: LeSean McCoy #25 of the Buffalo Bills carries the ball for a touchdown during the first half against the Arizona Cardinals on September 25, 2016 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo defeats Arizona 33-18. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 07: Running back LeSean McCoy #25 of the Buffalo Bills warms up before an NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on November 7, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 20: LeSean McCoy #25 of the Buffalo Bills runs with the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals during the game at Paul Brown Stadium on November 20, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bills defeated the Bengals 16-12. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 01: Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) reacts after the Bills score a touchdown during an NFL football game between the Buffalo Bills and the Atlanta Falcons on October 1, 2017 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - OCTOBER 29: LeSean McCoy #25 of the Buffalo Bills warms up before the start of NFL game action against the Oakland Raiders at New Era Field on October 29, 2017 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 10: LeSean McCoy #25 of the Buffalo Bills warms up before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at New Era Field on December 10, 2017 in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo defeats Indianapolis in overtime 13-7. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 24: LeSean McCoy #25 of the Buffalo Bills runs the ball against the New England Patriots during the first half at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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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 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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