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One Eagles Playmaker Could Earn A Ring And A Higher Paycheck In 2023 During This Super Bowl

While Eagles and Chiefs fans can still focus on winning, the rest of us are already intensely pondering various off-season scenarios. One of these in my head centers around unrestricted free agent running back, Miles Sanders. Sanders is probably thinking solely of a championship, but he could also be playing to improve his paycheck next season.

Fresh Volume

In 2022, Miles Sanders rushed 259 times for 1,269 yards. He also contributed 11 touchdowns and spearheaded the Eagles’ elite rushing attack. His 259 rushing attempts were good for eighth-most in the league, but while that speaks to a significant volume, the near-26-year-old should still have plenty of tread on his tires for his next contract. His next highest carry total was his rookie year, 2019, in which he carried the ball 179 times.

This past season marked the first time that Sanders eclipsed the 200-carry mark, and also the first time in three years that he played in a full season. Further, the Eagles are not only a RBBC (running back by committee), but also have Jalen Hurts at quarterback, who regularly gets a significant amount of carries. The point is, Miles Sanders enters free agency with a rare combination of experience, production, and health for the future.

The Biggest Stage Is Set For Sanders To Bolster His Value

Sanders is no secret to NFL teams, so any interested team is probably all set with the offers they want to extend once free agency opens on March 15. That said, I do think a player wants to leave a good impression on his last game to entice potential suitors.

If Miles Sanders can help lead the Eagles to offensive success on one of the biggest sports stages, I think he can drive up his price on the open market. Teams that are looking for productive, experienced backs will be more confident to pay him if they see him rise to the occasion.

If He Performs Well, Though, Doesn’t He Just Stay With The Eagles?

It is definitely possible. The Eagles are in decent cap shape, and even though a new deal could see Sanders enter into the top 10 of highest-paid running backs, the Eagles should be able to offer him a contract.

But, as the article linked above says, the Eagles may not deem a Sanders’ return essential. With Kenneth Gainwell still on the roster, and Boston Scott as a much cheaper player to re-sign, the Eagles could save a lot of money by looking to the NFL Draft to supplement their backfield committee. Regardless, Miles Sanders can stake his claim as a highly coveted back for the team to retain if he has a big outing in the Super Bowl.

Who Will Pay Miles Sanders?

If he plays well and further solidifies himself as one of the top free-agent running backs, he may demand a higher salary than the Eagles are willing to pay. If this is the case, here are three teams I can see looking at one of the best available free-agent RBs for 2023:

  1. Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders rank ninth in overall cap space according to Spotrac, and I do not think they will pay Josh Jacobs to stay; I see Jacobs commanding a significantly higher price than Sanders. If this is the case, the Raiders may look to Sanders to solidify their backfield alongside Zamir White.

  2. Arizona Cardinals. James Conner is still under contract, but the Cardinals have an out after 2024. Conner is also a couple of years older than Sanders, and Arizona may want to have Sanders available to split reps and be a playmaker for Kyler Murray and whoever becomes the new coach in the desert.

  3. Detroit Lions. This one seems weird to me since I already have written that I think Detroit re-signs Jamaal Williams. However, I think there is a world where Jamaal Williams’ red zone prowess earns him more money, in which case it is feasible that Sanders could make his way to Detroit. I think Lions fans would be sad to lose Jamaal but would be happy with a 1-2 punch of D’Andre Swift and Miles Sanders.

Back To The Original Point

I started thinking of this idea after I, myself, over-inflated Devin Singletary’s value before last season in terms of fantasy value. While Singletary did not lead me to fantasy success (no one else did, either, in fact, I had an awful fantasy season, but I digress, and probably shouldn’t write this much in parentheses), he did become a much better player in my eyes after I watched him be reliable for the Bills.

The Bills leaned on him in last season’s playoffs, and I see Sanders as capable of the same thing. In the modern NFL, many people would say teams should avoid highly paid running backs at all costs, but I think reliability and comfortability make strong cases for certain guys. Miles Sanders has been reliably productive as a runner and only lost one fumble this past season. If Sanders plays well in the Super Bowl, several teams will be lining up to pay good money for him to join their squad in 2023.

Final Thoughts

Sanders had just 20 receptions in 2022, and this is the lowest in his career. Now, he was only targeted 26 times, so I’m inclined to blame this low total on scheme and play-calling. However, if teams can use it in some way as a knock on his game, then I can see it slightly hurting his overall value in a league where backs are expected to run and catch at high rates. Even so, Sanders should be one of the most coveted running backs available this off-season.

And finally, Super Bowl Sunday is here! Thanks for checking out our content here at Stadium Rant, and be sure to stick with us for all of our rampant, off-season speculations.

 
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