The last update from “the Philadelphia Eagles are interested in signing a veteran running back” saga left off with Carlos Hyde joining the Seattle Seahawks, thus narrowing Philly’s rumored options down to Devonta Freeman and LeSean McCoy. NFL insider Ian Rapoport recently discussed the latest on that front:
“[Freeman is the] same guy who’s also been a featured back and a highly paid one for the Atlanta Falcons. And he’s in a situation where a lot of veterans are right now, believing that they deserve more than is being offered. And you really have two options here. You can do what Carlos Hyde did and say, okay, he wanted more than $5 million per year. At this point, in May, not going to happen. Just take the best deal you can, move on, and try again next year. That’s what Hyde did. Freeman has not put that decision in front of himself right now, has not decided to do that. Still wants big money. Could he actually retire? Maybe? Probably more likely is at some point realize to take what he can get and a team like the Philadelphia Eagles — who would like to add a veteran running back, and wouldn’t like to pay a lot for it — would make a lot of sense. I also know they have Shady McCoy, one of their old friends, in their sights as well.”
Some notes and thoughts:
- Freeman reportedly turned down a one-year contract worth up to $4 million with the Seahawks. That’s the same deal that Hyde ended up taking from Seattle.
- Adam Caplan reports the Eagles “aren’t looking to spend much more than the minimum” on a veteran running back. Freeman might not be interested in Philly’s offers.
- Freeman, who turned 28 in March, downplayed the notion he’s ready to retire by tweeting he still has 10 years in him ... before then deleting his posts.
- Freeman doesn’t really have great leverage. He’s had some awesome seasons in the past, sure, but those were back in 2015 and 2016. His more recent body of work includes missing 18 games due to injury over his last three seasons. He logged career lows in yards per attempt (3.6) and yards per reception (6.9) last year. Freeman can really only hope that other teams suffer running back injuries and he’ll become more desirable. Otherwise, as Rapoport suggests, his best bet would be to take what he can get and try to rehab his value ahead of free agency next offseason.
- If Freeman isn’t willing to come down from his demands, which seems possible, McCoy just might end up being the most realistic option for Philly. Shady’s going to have to be more realistic about his value given how he turns 32 in July and he was a healthy scratch during the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl run.
- The Eagles don’t need to be in a rush to sign one of these vets. They have the leverage in this situation. We’ll see if one of the vets finally caves and accepts their offer. Or if the team just sticks with their young guys.