Howie Roseman Breaks Silence on Eagles Spending Big on Saquon Barkley


Getty Images The Eagles spent big on running back Saquon Barkley in free agency.

In an era where running backs have never been valued less, at a time when the Philadelphia Eagles have philosophically avoided overpaying at the position, general manager Howie Roseman swung for the fences by signing All-Pro Saquon Barkley to one of the most lucrative deals in the league.

Barkley and the Eagles agreed to terms on a three-year pact worth $37.75 million during the NFL’s legal tampering period just before free agency began, adding a significant and versatile weapon to quarterback Jalen Hurts‘ arsenal.

During the NFL Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida on March 26, Roseman opened up about the Eagles’ motivation behind shopping at the top of the running back market and making Barkley a signature move of Philadelphia’s offseason.

“I think, for us, it’s hard to find special players at any position,” Roseman told reporters. “We think Saquon’s a special player and we think he’s a special person. And when you’re trying to find those guys, they’re hard to find, especially on the open market.

“Then you put into the dynamic about … has the pendulum swung so far at this position? The guy touches the ball 300 times a year, hopefully. There’s not a lot of other skill position players that are touching the ball that many times and have that effect.”

Barkley’s $12.8 AAV over the life of his contract ranks fourth in the NFL, behind Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara, and Jonathan Taylor. Quite the payday one year removed from the New York Giants applying the franchise tag to Barkley.

Roseman and the Eagles believe that they are better positioned to maximize Barkley’s explosiveness, especially given that the former No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft is going from running behind the Giants’ No. 31 ranked offensive line in terms of run-block-win-rate to the top-ranked in the category.

What Saquon Barkley adds to Eagles’ Offense

Barkley arrives in the City of Brotherly Love, and Hurts’ supporting cast as one of the more explosive dual-threat backs in the league.

Through his first six seasons, Barkley has rushed for 5,211 yards with 35 touchdowns, while averaging 4.3 yards per carry and adding 288 receptions for 2,100 yards and 12 more scores.

Barkley’s big-play ability in space, and as a pass-catcher out of the backfield could prove to be an asset for Hurts and an ideal scheme fit for the Eagles’ offense.

“Amazing thing: Good players fit well into schemes,” Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni told reporters. “He’s obviously a really good player. We’re really excited to have him. The style of play that he brings, the leadership that he brings. Guys like that, however you use them, they’re going to do a good job. We’re obviously working on the ways we’re going to use him now. Our offensive staff is working hard at that. Just really excited to add a player of his caliber to our team.”

Eagles Cap Space Update

Roseman has orchestrated a bit of a free-agency masterclass this offseason.

Even after Barkley’s deal, signing top edge rusher Bryce Huff, and filling needs at linebacker by adding All-Pro Devin White and Zack Baun, while adding depth pieces like DeVante Parker and Parris Campbell to Hurts’ receiving corps, among a slew of other moves, the Eagles are still among the better-positioned teams across the league when it comes to the salary cap.

With free agency well into its second wave, the Eagles still have upwards of $33.53 million in cap space, the fifth-most spending flexibility in the NFL.

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