2020 NFL free agency: Top 10 free agent RBs
10. LeSean McCoy
2019 Stats: 101 rush, 465 yds, 4 TD / 28 rec, 181 yds, 1 TD
2019 Salary: $3M base, $3M cap number
What a way to begin! Shady will turn 32 before the 2020 season begins and he isn't exactly the guy he used to be, but he's still useful. He averaged 4.6 yards per attempt in an offense designed around a creative quarterback and speedy weapons, which could be the Eagles' exact design in 2020. Miles Sanders is the clear No. 1, but a Shady reunion on a one-year deal wouldn't be worst idea. Now, to call up Jeremy Maclin...
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9. Chris Thompson
2019 Stats: 37 rush, 138 yds, 0 TD / 42 rec, 378 yds, 0 TD
2019 Salary: $2.75M base, $3.9M cap number
It feels like Thompson's career has felt like one long case of "what do we do with this guy?" He's been a productive receiving back for years, averaging roughly 375 yards per season through the air. Considering what we saw from Miles Sanders in his rookie season, there probably isn't much room for a 29-year-old receiving back if the Eagles are looking for a change of pace guy, and if they generally want to get younger, but he'll be mildly useful somewhere.
8. Jordan Howard
2019 Stats: 119 rush, 525 yds, 6 TD / 10 rec, 69 yds, 1 TD
2019 Salary: $2.025M base, $2.025M cap number
A familiar face! Howard had a weird year with the Eagles, never really finding a consistent rhythm, before injuries let Miles Sanders steal RB1 out from under him. Howard is still fairly young, and while 2019 was clearly a down year for him statistically, it's possible the rest (he carried the ball 119 times after averaging 259 per season through three years in Chicago) will make teams less wary of bringing him in. He'll price himself out of Philadelphia with Sanders in tow, but Howard should have eager suitors for 2020.
7. Peyton Barber
2019 Stats: 154 rush, 470 yds, 6 TD / 16 rec, 115 yds, 1 TD
2019 Salary: $1.125M base, $2.125M cap number
Barber is a fascinating case. He seems like a valuable back, who had a solid 2018 and who is handicapped by playing in a pass-happy offense. He finds the end zone when handed the ball, so maybe he should get it more. But his career yards per attempt number sits at 3.6, and he had a real down year in 2019. Some of that could be rhythm, some of it could be his surprisingly low yards-per-attempt figure (3.6 for his career). Is he good? Good question. Some team will pay him, and then find out.
6. DeAndre Washington
2019 Stats: 108 rush, 387 yds, 3 TD / 36 rec, 292 yds, 0 TD
2019 Salary: $720K base, $787K cap number
He was stuck behind the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2019, but DeAndre Washington quietly had his best year since his rookie season. A bowling ball (5-foot-8, 210 pounds) of a Texas Tech product, Washington proved a very useful pass-catching back, and was pretty useful on the ground. Washington's ceiling feels like it hasn't yet been discovered, and if the Eagles could wrangle him on a cap-friendly deal, I would be interested, though he might skew a little too close to Boston Scott's role.
2019 Stats: 245 rush, 1,070 yds, 6 TD / 10 rec, 42 yds, 0 TD
2019 Salary: $1.4M base, $1.9M cap number
Here's where the free agent running backs get good. Hyde is becoming a proven entity: when he's healthy and on the field, he moves the ball with a nice hybrid running style. He thrived in Houston last year with Deshaun Watson, and I'd be surprised if he isn't a desirable FA target for a number of teams. He's not an Eagles target, and he won't end up in the NFC East. I think he goes back to Houston, but it's only late February.
4. Lamar Miller
2019 Stats: N/A
2019 Salary: $5.5M base, $7.2M cap number
Another Houston backfield representative, Miller missed all of 2019 with an ACL injury. We know he's a good running back when healthy, and he's played a lot of productive football since 2013, which could work for him... or against him. Does a team want to pay Miller RB1 money in 2020, with 1,354 carries already on his tires? As much as I like Miller's game, and I like it a lot, I know I'd be wary. But he'll get paid well somewhere, and he'll get a chance to prove me wrong.
3. Kenyan Drake
2019 Stats: 170 rush, 817 yds, 8 TD / 50 rec, 345 yds, 0 TD
2019 Salary: $2.025M base, $1.07M cap number
I really enjoy Kenyan Drake. Despite playing for one rudderless team and one unpredictable/mediocre team in 2019, he averaged 4.8 yards per carry, set a career-high in rushing yards, and also caught 50 passes. He showed in 2018 that he can reach the end zone as a rusher and a receiver, and he doesn't bring too much wear and tear (just 456 career carries) to his next stop. I think Drake could have a breakout 2020. Please do not quote me when I am inevitably wrong.
2. Melvin Gordon
2019 Stats: 162 rush, 612 yds, 8 TD / 42 rec, 296 yds, 1 TD
2019 Salary: $5.6M base, $4.62M cap number
Melvin Gordon hasn't played a full 16-game slate since 2017, and his partial in-season holdout in 2019 wasn't exactly followed by his best football, so it'll be interesting to see what kind of deal Gordon gets in free agency. He's clearly a talented running back, and has said he wants to be back with the Chargers. With Los Angeles pressing reset on the QB position, it might want a consistent option on the ground to take pressure off Tyrod Taylor, or a potential rookie QB.
1. Derrick Henry
2019 Stats: 303 rush, 1,540 yds, 16 TD / 18 rec, 206 yds, 2 TD
2019 Salary: $3.27M base, $5.4M cap number
Finally, we get to the best running back of 2019. Henry was an absolute force last year, flipping the switch from very good to unstoppable during a contract year. If Tennessee thinks it can compete for the AFC title again next year, it should bring Henry, no matter the price. Averaging 5.1 yards per carry on 303 carries is already an absurd accomplishment; tacking on 16 touchdowns and a career-best year through the air (albeit a modest 18 catches, 208 yards, and two touchdowns) is just insane. He was great, and there's no reason to believe he'll be any less great in 2020.