The Philadelphia Eagles are in great shape coming off a Super Bowl appearance. However, some critical pieces to that talented team, including the running back position, may change this offseason. It has been reported that re-signing their leading rusher in 2022, Miles Sanders, is not a priority for the team. This creates an immediate need for an important position.
Before getting into the Eagles’ options, let’s review what Miles Sanders has done for Philadelphia over the past four seasons. Sanders was drafted out of Penn State in 2019 and had a successful rookie year rushing for over 800 yards with 4.6 yards per carry and over 500 receiving yards. His yards per carry increased to 5.3 in 2020 as he rushed for nearly 900 yards. Unfortunately, Sanders battled some injuries in 2021, with a career-low 754 yards on the ground and zero touchdowns.
This past season was the best yet for Sanders. In 2022, he rushed for 1,269 yards and recorded 11 touchdowns, which was suitable for the NFL’s fifth-leading rusher. His yards per carry was also a productive 4.9. Yet, for some reason, the Eagles relied on him more sparingly in the postseason. Sanders had 42 yards in the NFC Championship and 16 rushing yards in the Super Bowl loss. This could likely mean the team is looking at other options in 2023 and beyond. While drafting a running back is a good possibility, let’s consider some free-agent options.
The Eagles Could Go After A Big Name
There are few free-agent running back choices better than Miles Sanders, but there are a couple. Of course, the downside is the cost that comes with it, but an even more productive back could make this offense very scary.
In 2022, Jacobs was the NFL’s leading rusher with 1,653 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Las Vegas Raiders. The 2019 draft pick out of Alabama also had 53 receptions for 400 yards. He’s a dual-threat back that can run between the tackles.
Barkley is another intriguing option. The former Penn State star and 2018 rookie of the year is one of the game’s best when healthy. In 2022 for the New York Giants, Barkley had 1,312 rushing yards, 338 receiving yards, and ten touchdowns.
Does either of these options work for the Eagles? The answer is likely not. It is hard to imagine the team spending even more money on a running back if they let Miles Sanders walk. Both guys will want to be paid a big contract, so they are probably not a match for the Eagles. While Jacobs and Barkley are great players and will improve the Eagles, Philadelphia would need more cap space.
Other Veteran Options
The Eagles don’t have to spend much money for a new running back. Here are a few other options.
The Eagles have plenty of other names to choose from as well. Tony Pollard from the Dallas Cowboys is a productive all-purpose back. He had over 1,000 rushing yards in 2022 and nearly 400 receiving yards. He’s made the most of his snaps despite competing with Ezekiel Elliott for playing time. David Montgomery is a bigger back than what the Eagles had before. He could run through the tackles and get tough yardage. Montgomery had 800 rushing yards in 2022 for the Chicago Bears.
who most recently played for the Cleveland Browns and previously for the Kansas City Chiefs, has been linked to the Eagles. He had quite a rookie year rushing for over 1,300 yards but has not been as productive since. However, he could come at a discount and be an experienced option for Philly.
from the Detroit Lions and D’Onta Foreman from the Carolina Panthers are veteran leaders who could come at a lower price. Williams had the best season of his career in 2022, rushing for over 1,000 yards. Foreman also found success this past season after dealing with injuries since his rookie year. The former Houston Texans draft pick appeared in all 17 games for the Panthers, tallying over 900 yards.
What Should The Eagles Do?
The upcoming NFL draft has some great options for the Eagles, including Texas running back Bijan Robinson and Alabama back Jamyr Gibbs. One of them would make sense with the Eagles’ late first-round pick. However, drafting a new running back is not enough.
Philadelphia could also lose reserve running back Boston Scott to free agency. If they lose both Sanders and Scott, the Eagles are likely picking up a free agent from somewhere. This makes veteran guys like D’Onta Foreman or Kareem Hunt good possibilities. They could come at a lower price and still have some career left.
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