NFL rumor season is in full gear with the November 1 trade deadline just one week away.
The latest buzz on the Philadelphia Eagles comes from NFL insider Jay Glazer, who is pretty plugged in to the pulse of the league. The following exchange took place during a Q&A segment for FOX NFL:
Q: Do you see the Eagles making a major move to solidify their Super Bowl run?
GLAZER: You know, I talked to Howie Roseman about this. He said he’s definitely going to start making calls all around the NFL. But, really, where is there [a position to address]? They’re a very solid team. They’ve got great depth. Maybe they add a running back to the mix, I could see them doing that. But not like some big, bold move. I just don’t see what’s out there for them at this point because their roster is so strong already.”
Glazer’s comment about the Eagles potentially adding a running back comes off as speculation more than a signal that a trade is imminent. Still, it’s interesting that he brought up running backs when he could’ve mentioned other positions or avoided getting into specifics altogether.
If the Eagles’ reported interest in Christian McCaffrey was any indication, Roseman could indeed be looking at backfield options. It’s a logical area for the Birds to address.
The Eagles do not need to be desperate for running back help. They rank sixth in rushing yards per game. Miles Sanders is off to a quality start with 105 carries for 485 rushing yards (4.6 average) and four rushing scores.
Of course, Sanders benefits from the Eagles having a strong offensive line that ranks eighth in run blocking by Pro Football Focus grading. Jalen Hurts’ mobility also makes Eagles running backs tougher to defend.
While Sanders is hardly a bad player, there is evidence to suggest the Eagles’ rushing efficiency could afford to be better. Philly’s rushing attack as a whole is generating 4.2 yards per attempt which ranks tied for 22nd. Sanders ranks 20th in rushing yards over expected per attempt, per NFL Next Gen Stats. Sanders also ranks 32nd out of 55 players at his position graded by PFF.
The point here is that Sanders has not been so good that the Eagles should avoid splitting touches with other talented options. The problem is they lack great alternatives. Kenneth Gainwell had a disappointing camp. The second-year back has been OK as a runner but he hasn’t lived up to envisioned expectations as a pass catcher, logging just four catches for 21 yards on eight targets thus far. Boston Scott hasn’t done much, either. Trey Sermon looked intriguing in a very small sample size but has mostly been a healthy scratch.
Given how Sanders has also struggled to contribute as a receiving option since his rookie year, the Eagles could be looking into a back who helps in that regard. And/or the Eagles could be looking for a back who provides more physicality so that Hurts doesn’t always have to be the de facto short-yardage power option.
Kareem Hunt, David Montgomery, Jamaal Williams, and Melvin Gordon are among names who could be available to the Birds. The price on these options vary but it could be something like a late Day 2 or early Day 3 pick depending on the player. The Eagles are a little light on Day 3 ammunition in the 2023 NFL Draft with just one fourth-round pick and two seventh-round selections. They do have extra Day 3 ammo in the 2024 NFL Draft, however.
Given Roseman’s track record, we can expect him to be investigating available options. But we also must expect Philly’s general manager to consider how a deal could impact the locker room. Back in 2017, the Eagles were insistent on insisting LeGarrette Blount was still the starter after trading for Jay Ajayi. The team seemed to gauge his temperature on that addition before ultimately pulling the trigger. Given how Nick Sirianni has repeatedly gone out of his way to talk about how Sanders is the Eagles’ RB1, one would think they might want to consider his reaction to a move. Especially as Sanders is set to be a free agent after this year.
It seems quite possible that the Eagles could sit tight with their current running back options. But it’s hard to rule out a move entirely until the deadline passes.
Should the Eagles trade for a running back?
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