An explosive veteran running back can push a team on the cusp over the edge. Kind of like a closer in major-league baseball.
Especially if he’s a bruiser who can pound the ball in at the goal line. It’s not a glaring need for the Eagles but one a team in win-now mode might want to beef up. If they decide to do that, there are intriguing options in free agency. Frank Gore and LeSean McCoy are players they have tried to sign or trade for in recent years that fit the bill.
Look, everyone knows that Miles Sanders is the undisputed starter at the position. Boston Scott will inevitably have a role, too. The Eagles also have Elijah Holyfield on the roster, along with two drool-worthy undrafted rookies in Cincinnati’s Michael Warren and Army’s Adrian Killins.
Philadelphia could also think outside-the-box and pursue a trade for the Jaguars’ Leonard Fournette. His price tag might be lower than ever after Jacksonville found no suitors during the NFL Draft. How about Marshawn Lynch? Or an old familiar face? Let’s investigate the possibilities.
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NFL Rumors: Eagles RB Options in Free Agency
The man known as El Guapo and his bulky 6-foot, 230-pound frame might be the perfect fit for the Eagles. Hyde will turn 30 years old in September and he’s coming off his best year as a pro after rushing for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns for the Texans in 2019. He owned the 15th-highest red-zone efficiency last year at 52.5-percent. Is he a dual-threat out of the backfield? Absolutely not, but Philly won’t need him to do that with Miles Sanders and Boston Scott flying around the field. Better yet, he earned only $2.9 million.
He’s definitely not the big, bruising back outlined above, quite the opposite. McCoy, who was drafted by the Eagles in 2009, fell out of the Chiefs’ rotation at the end of last season and didn’t even suit up for the Super Bowl. He still finished with 646 all-purpose yards and five total touchdowns. His 11,071 career rushing yards rank third among active players. The soon-to-be 32-year-old has been begging to return to Philly, too. Make his dream come true, Howie.
Gore just completed his 15th season in the NFL and has rushed his way up to third place on the league’s all-time rushing list with 15,347 yards. He has rushed for at least 599 yards (4.3 yards per carry) in every single season of his career. Impressive stats considering his plodding style of running. Ironically, the Eagles tried to sign him in 2015 but he spurned their overtures when the Colts came in at the last minute with a stronger offer. Maybe he’s more serious about winning a championship in his older age (36).
Clement is more fleet-footed than others on this list, plus he boasts valuable experience playing in Doug Pederson’s system. Following his departure in free agency, the Eagles don’t have any players remaining from the famed Philly Special trick play (minus Jason Kelce). The 25-year-old was placed on injured reserve last October with a nagging shoulder injury. He appeared in four games and was used solely as a kickoff/punt returner and fumbled twice. Is Clement’s confidence shot? Maybe. But he’d be a super cheap option for a team looking for running back depth.
The longest shot on the board since no one knows if the walking Skittles commercial wants to come back. Lynch, who busted off the most iconic playoff run in NFL history, returned to the Seahawks last year for their playoff push after a long hiatus. He didn’t make much of an impact, though. Lynch rushed for just 67 yards on 30 carries in three games but he did cross the goal line three times in the postseason, including one big touchdown against the Eagles in their wild-card game. He earned $60,588 for Week 17 in 2019, plus playoff incentives. If Beast Mode isn’t done, he could help the Eagles.