The Eagles are reportedly interested in signing a veteran free agent running back to complement Miles Sanders and there are plenty of options still available.
What veteran running back would you like Eagles to sign?— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) May 12, 2020
As a reminder, here’s an updated look at the Eagles’ running back room:
Michael Warren II
According to NFL reporter Adam Caplan, the Eagles are interested in signing a veteran back who is a volume runner, capable of spelling Sanders.
Let’s take a deeper dive into 10 players still available and weigh the positives and negatives of each. We’ll start with the three guys the Eagles have already shown interest in:
Positives: The former second-round pick, at 6-0, 229, is at times a bruising inside runner who would complement Sanders. During his career, Hyde has averaged 2.71 yards after contact per attempt and he has 32 rushing touchdowns since he entered the league.
Negatives: His next team will be his fifth in four years. Hyde will turn 30 in December and he reportedly turned down an offer to stay with the Texans. So how much would Hyde cost?
Positives: At his best, Freeman was a two-time Pro Bowler in Atlanta in 2015-16. He went over 1,000 yards and had 11 touchdowns in each of those seasons. He also has the ability to be a pass catcher, reeling in 257 career catches since he entered the league in 2014.
Negatives: He’s still just 28, but Freeman has missed 16 games over the last two years because of injury. And while he played in 14 games in 2019, he averaged a career-low 3.6 yards per attempt with the Falcons.
Positives: We all know what Shady can do. He’s a borderline Hall of Fame player, who is already the best running back in Eagles history, and he was probably the best running back in the NFL in the previous decade. And he would come to Philadelphia with a base knowledge of the Eagles’ offense, something that shouldn’t be completely overlooked in this strange offseason.
Negatives: Shady will be 32 by the start of the 2020 season and he might be cooked. The Chiefs were getting decent play from him in 2019 (he averaged 4.6 yards per attempt), but he ended up being a healthy scratch in the Super Bowl.
Positives: The 26-year-old is 6-0, 217 pounds, and runs tough. He averaged 4.14 yards after contact per attempt in 2019 for the Colts. Filling in for Marlon Mack in November, Williams had back-to-back 100-yard games. Because of his lacking overall resume, Williams won’t be expensive.
Negatives: Outside of those two big games, Williams had just 15 rushing yards in 2019. Williams was a fifth-round pick in 2016 and if he’s on a roster in 2020, it’ll likely be with his fourth team. He has just 79 career carries.
Positives: Miller is one of the most talented players on this list. In his last season, 2018 with the Texans, he averaged 4.6 yards per attempt and was a Pro Bowler. He was a 1,000-yard back in 2014 and in 2016. During his career, Miller has been a good all-around back.
Negatives: Miller is 29 and coming off an ACL tear he suffered in the preseason last year. That alone is probably enough for the Eagles to remove his name from consideration.
Positives: At his best, the long-time Jet was a solid running back. In 2016-17, he had 1,494 rushing yards with 8 touchdowns and also caught 81 passes.
Negatives: Powell is 31 and is coming off the worst season in his career. He carried the ball 59 times for 229 yards in 2019.
Positives: The third-round pick is still just 27 and has averaged 4.6 yards per attempt in his career but the former receiver is known more for his ability as a pass catcher. He has 120 career catches, including a career-high 44 back in 2016.
Negatives: Montgomery isn’t really the type of running back the Eagles want. And his one year with the Jets didn’t go very well. He averaged 3.2 yards per carry and caught just 13 passes for 90 yards.
Positives: At 5-11, 225 pounds, Crowell is the type of back the Eagles would ideally want to add. During his career, he has averaged 4.3 yards per attempt and in 2018 he averaged 3.27 yards after contact per attempt.
Negatives: While he’s still just 27, Crowell is coming off a torn Achilles suffered a little over a year ago. The Eagles don’t want to add injured players this offseason.
Positives: The Eagles’ former fifth-round pick definitely knows the offense and he was an OK player during his three years in Philly. His best season came in 2018, when he had 87 carries for 364 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Negatives: Smallwood is more of a slasher and wouldn’t necessarily be the best complement to Sanders. And as much as familiarity is nice, we’ve probably already seen his ceiling.
Positives: At 5-10, 224 pounds, Ware got to Kansas City in 2015, which was Doug Pederson’s final season as offensive coordinator under Andy Reid. So there’s some familiarity there. He once ran for 921 yards in a season in 2016.
Negatives: Ware has had some injury concerns recently. Ankle surgery in early 2019 and then, after he joined the Chiefs in December, he landed on IR with a shoulder injury less than a month later and missed the playoff run. He also missed all of 2017 with a knee injury.
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