The Philadelphia Eagles are being urged to replace their top running back with an even better one.
According to former Eagles running back and current Fox Sports analyst LeSean McCoy — he was named to three Pro Bowls during his six seasons in Philadelphia — the team should replace Miles Sanders with Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs.
The fourth-year running back will be a free agent this offseason with Jacobs also entering free agency.
Sanders is having a sensational season for Philadelphia this year, entering Week 13 with 900 rushing yards (career-high) on 5.1 yards per carry and eight touchdowns. Furthermore, his 26 carries over 10 yards ranks third in the league.
However, the Eagles could look at adding Jacobs as an upgrade. The former first-round draft pick is coming off of a 229-yard performance in an overtime victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 12, including the game-winning 86-yard touchdown run.
Jacobs followed up that performance with another stellar one in a 26-carry, 144-yard, one-touchdown outing in a 27-20 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
Jacobs Ranks as NFL’s Top Running Back, According to PFF
According to Pro Football Focus, Jacobs is the top-ranked running back in the league with a 93.4 offensive grade and a 93.4 rushing grade. Furthermore, Jacobs has 42 receptions for 331 receiving yards this season, ranking seventh among all running backs.
On the other hand, Sanders is not even a factor in the receiving game. The 25-year-old has just 15 receptions for 60 receiving yards this season. Furthermore, while Sanders is a solid running back, he pales in comparison to Jacobs. The Eagles running back has posted a 77.1 offensive grade, ranking 13th among all running backs.
While Jacobs is clearly a bigger playmaker than Sanders, are the Eagles really willing to pay top dollar for the Raiders running back? When looking at both players’ contracts, Jacobs’ projected value is worth $12.4 million per year, according to Spotrac. Meanwhile, Sanders’ value is $7.2 million per year.
The Eagles are riding high with the NFL’s best record at 11-1. Furthermore, their offensive unit ranks as one of the very best in the league, averaging 27.5 points per game entering Week 13, third-highest in the league.
Why Eagles May Not Sign Jacobs
While adding Jacobs would take Philadelphia to the next level, they’d likely have to make him one of the highest-paid running backs in the league. Is that something Philadelphia is willing to do?
Jacobs is an elite back, but it’ll also be a buyer’s market in the offseason. Multiple noteworthy running backs such as Saquon Barkley and Tony Pollard — along with potential cap casualties such as Alvin Kamara, Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette — will hit free agency.
This could drive his value down, along with other running backs in free agency. As Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice notes, he expects the Eagles to only bring Sanders back at the “right cost.”
“I think the Eagles would like to have Sanders back, but only at the right cost,” says Kempski. “I know this is a boring answer, but my guess is that they’ll wait until they get a sense of how the running back market will play out, and make an appropriate offer to Sanders at that time. If another team blows Sanders away with an offer that he can’t turn down, then so be it, and best of luck. But it should be easy enough to pivot to another option.”
In other words, considering Jacobs will command a higher contract in the offseason than Sanders, it’s hard to envision the Eagles paying top dollar for arguably the top back in free agency.
If anything, expect Philadelphia to bring Sanders back or sign a cheaper alternative in free agency.