Former Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard is now without a team. Howard, who signed a two-year, $9.75 million contract with the Miami Dolphins in March, played in just five games for Miami this season, starting three. Monday, NFL insider Adam Schefter Tweeted that the team had waived Howard, making him an intriguing name on the waiver wire for several teams.
Dolphins head coach Brian Flores called the team’s release of Howard a “mutual parting,” per ESPN. “A lot of respect for him and respect for the way he worked. No ill will, just thought it was best for both parties,” Flores said Monday afternoon, adding: “He’s a good back. He’s definitely been productive. We had some other guys who stepped in and played well. For that reason, his reps were limited. When he did go in there, it felt like we had maybe a little bit better production from some other guys. I don’t think that speaks to his talent level. I think he’s a talented young man. He’s been productive in this league and I wish him all the best.”
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Jordan Howard Had Three Solid Years for the Bears…
The Bears selected Howard in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft (150th overall), and he made the Pro Bowl in his first year with the team, netting 1,313 yards on 252 carries (that’s 5.2 yards per rush) while also catching 29 passes for 298 yards and a score. He followed his stellar rookie campaign up with a 276 carry, 1,122 yard season that saw him also score nine touchdowns. He became the first Bears running back ever to gain 1,000+ yards in his first two seasons with the team.
In 2018, Howard’s third season with the team and head coach Matt Nagy’s first, Howard had 250 carries for 935 yards (3.7 yards per carry) and nine scores. The Bears elected to trade Howard to the Philadelphia Eagles for a sixth-round draft pick in March of 2019, and he saw his 2019 season cut slightly short due to injury.
He played in 10 games for the Eagles, starting four. He rushed for 525 yards on 119 carries (4.4 ypc), scoring six touchdowns. He saved one of the best games of his season for his former team, carrying the ball 19 times for 82 yards and a touchdown in a 22-14 Eagles victory over the Bears.
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Would a Jordan Howard-to-the-Bears Reunion Make Sense?
The Dolphins’ use of Howard was spotty initially, before becoming non-existent. He was utilized primarily as a goal-line back early on, and then not at all. He had 28 rushes for 33 yards and four touchdowns during his short tenure with the team before his release.
Meanwhile, over in Chicago, the Bears are currently last in the league in rushing yards per game, but their offensive line woes are going to be an issue regardless of who is in the backfield. Starting back David Montgomery — who the Bears drafted in the third round a month after trading Howard to the Eagles — is currently out with a concussion, and the team just elevated veteran Lamar Miller from the practice squad.
With Tarik Cohen also out for the year, a Howard-to-the-Bears reunion seems tempting on the surface, but it would likely never happen after Bears GM Ryan Pace sent Howard packing for peanuts, choosing instead to draft Montgomery. The Bears could absolutely use depth at the position, and Howard would come cheap — but egos will probably prevent a reunion from happening.