Running back options for the Eagles
Where there’s smoke there’s fire. The Eagles have reportedly been in the market for a running back for the last couple of weeks now. We expect that Howie Roseman will be even more aggressive now. On Sunday running back, Jay Ajayi suffered a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season. This is very sad considering that he was in a contract year and was playing through a fractured back. He will also miss the Eagles game in London. As a result, the Eagles now must look at other running back options and do so in a hurry. For now, it looks as if Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, and Josh Adams will be the only healthy backs for Thursday’s game against the Giants.
The Obvious choice
The obvious choice as we all know is Le’Veon Bell. If there was ever a time to make this move now would be the time. However reportedly the Eagles arent interested in pursuing the Steelers back now. While it remains to be seen it’s hard not to believe Roseman isn”t trying to work something. It’s also worth noting that the Eagles restructured Fletcher Cox’s contract yesterday freeing up 6.5 million dollars in cap space this year.
Eagles restructured contract of Pro-Bowl DT Fletcher Cox on Friday, creating $6.5 million more of cap space this season and $11.7 million more next season, sources tell @mortreport and me. But Eagles have not pursued a trade for Le’Veon Bell and have no plans to, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 8, 2018
The restructure also frees up 11.7 million next year. I don’t know about you but given the running back situation you don’t just move cap space around at this point but thats just me. Clearly, the best of the available running back options I say go big or go home and make the move for Bell.
Rumors and speculation
Now while the Bell rumors are very true there are some other ones that don’t appear to be. It was floated around social media that the Eagles were interested in David Johnson. While that would be great for the Eagles it seems unlikely. Reported by Derrick Gunn the move would make alot of sense for the Eagles but not so much for the Cardinals.
The rumor has been out there for a while that the eagles are interested in Le'veon Bell…. but don't be surprised if they're also inquiring about Arizona RB David Johnson.
— Derrick Gunn (@RealDGunnNBCS) October 8, 2018
Johnson just signed a three year 39 million dollar deal. Despite being just 1-4 the Cardinals would ideally want to pair Johnson with rookie quarterback Josh Rosen to help his development. While johnson coming to philly is unlikely there are still plenty of other running back options available.
A shady reunion? Sure why not. The Bills running back is still only 30 years old and the Eagles have reportedly tried to trade for him in the past. I believe there is still some shiftiness left in the tank for McCoy. Through four games in Buffalo McCoy has just 45 carries for 170 yards and no touchdowns. The Eagles all time leading rusher would reunite with the Eagles and give them a lead running back they now desperately need. Plus with Clement, Smallwood and Sproles a rotation would also help to keep McCoy fresh.
Coleman the odd man out?
The last back i could see the Eagles trading for who would make sense is Falcons running back Tevin Coleman. At one time Coleman and Devonta Freeman formed one of the more dangerous duos in the league. But fast forward to this year and that duo has now turned into a trio. Coleman is set to become a free agent after this season and appears to be the odd man out. Fourth-round pick Ito Smith has been seeing more carries and with Freeman now healthy they could be the future. So far this season Freeman has 61 carries for 225 yards and one touchdown. The Falcons are 1-4.
The Eagles could always turn to the free agent market as a last resort. A guy who really stands out is former Giants running back Orleans Darkwa. Darkwa broke up last season starting 11 games. He received 171 carries rushing for 751 yards and five touchdowns. However, with the selection of Saquon Barkley, he was sent packing. Still, just 26 years old Darkwa has nice size at 6’0 feet 210 pounds and would be effective if the Eagles weren’t able to secure a trade.
— NFL (@NFL) December 31, 2017
One final last resort would be Jamaal Charles. Charles hasnt had much of a market so far but he still can be productive. Last year with the Broncos he averaged 4.3 yards per carry. While he certainly isnt the back he used to be Charles would provide a veteran prescence that’s familiar with Doug Pederson. Charles is reportedly visitng the Jaguars today.
The ball is in your court Howie. All we can do now is sit back and wait. While also unlikely I’d love to see Jordan Howard somehow end up in midnight green. He’s also a Joe Douglas guy. But back on topic, the Eagles have until October 30th at 4pm to make a deal. However, I highly doubt we will have to wait that long for a move to be made. I say go get number 26 from Pittsburgh. Of these running back options who would you like to see end up in philly?
Featured image via Flickr: Kevin Piatt
All stats via pro-football-reference.com
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