There has been much talk about the Eagles signing Jordan Howard to a contract extension. What would the running back cost?
While there has been much discussion about whether Howard should be in the Eagles’ long-term plans — and the answer should be a resounding yes — there hasn’t been any news of negotiations with the bruising back. Howard has been dealing with a shoulder injury, so those talks are probably stalled until the team knows how long his so-called “stinger” will linger. But this could be a great opportunity to sign Howard on the cheap.
According to ESPN’s Bill Barnwell, Howard may only command a one-year deal worth $2 million in 2020. He’s an unrestricted free agent after this year.
That’s an incredibly good value for a running back who has accumulated 3,895 yards and 30 touchdowns in his first four years in the NFL. He entered the year with the third-most rushing yards in the league since 2016.
The reason for the low salary? Well, Howard is pretty one-dimensional. He isn’t a threat to make plays in the passing game and doesn’t take snaps on special teams. He’s been best compared to former Redskins rusher Alfred Morris.
Per Barnwell: There was little interest in Howard when the Bears put him on the trade market last offseason, although the former Pro Bowler ranked eighth in success rate for the Eagles before going down with a stinger. The closest comparable for Howard is Alfred Morris, who racked up huge numbers for Washington during his rookie deal but then had to settle for relatively modest, short-term deals in free agency.
Howard Leading Rusher for Eagles in 2019
Jordan Howard had assumed the role of lead back in Philadelphia after rushing for 525 yards in nine games for the Eagles.
He enjoyed a breakout game in Week 4 against Green Bay when he turned in 115 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. He also rumbled for 96 yards versus Buffalo. A proven workhorse, the Eagles are 3-0 this season when Howard has at least 15 carries.
Doug Pederson Promised to Feed Howard
Despite an obsessive compulsion to make Miles Sanders the lead ball-carrier, there is no denying Jordan Howard should be the bellcow in Philadelphia. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson finally admitted it after he gained 62 yards versus the Jets in Week 5.
“I think moving forward, it’s kind of going that way,” Pederson said on Oct. 7. “But again, I can’t sit here and tell you if Miles [Sanders] has a hot hand one day that he gets more touches, but right now, that’s kind of the trend.”
Again, he wasn’t totally willing to commit to Howard as the main guy. Will the Eagles decide to commit to Howard long-term? Well, that remains to be seen. The fact that he has been their most consistent and reliable rusher, coupled with a cheap contract situation, should come into play in their final decision.
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