With the slate essentially clean, the Eagles seemingly had the motive to finally sign a free agent. Le’Veon Bell was out of their price range, but they had set their sights on free agent Tevin Coleman, NFL sources close to the situation said. Running backs coach Duce Staley, in fact, had the former Falcon rated as his top free agent. But Roseman, for whatever the reason, couldn’t nail down Coleman. Money couldn’t have been a factor. Coleman’s contract with the 49ers was for only two years, $8.5 million, with only $5.25 million guaranteed. His preference may have been to play for Kyle Shanahan, his former offensive coordinator in Atlanta, but coinage is typically the ultimate deciding factor.
It was awfully curious to see Coleman sign such a relatively modest deal with the 49ers. It feels like the Eagles — who currently have about $25 million in cap space — could’ve made an offer that trumped Coleman’s familiarity with Shanahan. Especially if Duce had him as his top running back!
So, what happened? Did Howie Roseman simply fall asleep at the wheel?
I don’t think that’s the case. As previously noted in a BGN chat from last week, my understanding is that there was a concern with Coleman that ultimately deterred the Eagles from outbidding their competitors. I guess only time will tell if the worries were valid.
In the meantime, it’s frustrating that the Eagles didn’t land Coleman because he projected to be a nice fit in Doug Pederson’s offense. But it’s not like Philly’s running back situation had to revolve around a plan of “Coleman or bust.” The Eagles still have backfield options via free agency (Jay Ajayi, Spencer Ware), trade (Duke Johnson, Jordan Howard), and the 2019 NFL Draft (Josh Jacobs, David Montgomery).
There’s just no way the Eagles can think their current cadre of running backs is good enough. The quintet of Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams, Boston Scott, and Donnel Pumphrey must be upgraded upon.