Could the Philadelphia Eagles make a move for another running back?

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 08: Duke Johnson #29 of the Cleveland Browns runs with the ball in the game against New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 8, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 08: Duke Johnson #29 of the Cleveland Browns runs with the ball in the game against New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 8, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Eagles recently traded for Jordan Howard. Does that mean that they are finished with upgrading the backfield?

A few days ago, the Philadelphia Eagles had a rough look to their backfield. The unit was headlined by Corey Clement, followed by players such as Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams, Donnel Pumphrey, and Boston Scott. Knowing that they needed help in the ground game, Eagles’ general manager Howie Roseman picked up the phone and contacted the Chicago Bears. Sure enough, Howie got a deal done as he picked up running back, Jordan Howard.

Although Howard has an impressive set of numbers for his first three seasons in the NFL, many are under the assumption that the current state of the backfield isn’t the end all, be all. We know that the Eagles are going to continue to roll with the running back by committee approach. But just how many running backs are they going to scoop up in order to make this happen?

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The NFL Draft is a few weeks away. The Eagles have done their homework as they have met with a ton of backs in the last month or so. While we’re not under the assumption that the Eagles will select a running back with their first three picks, there is a good chance that the Eagles draft a guy in the fourth or fifth round, where there is plenty of valuable mid-round talent. While that seems like the likely scenario, there’s also a chance that the Eagles decide to use those picks elsewhere, and bring in another running back via trade, or signing.

What else could the Eagles do?

First off, the Eagles could rely on bringing Darren Sproles back. Right now, he’s currently a Free Agent, but his decision on whether he’s going to retire or not won’t come until May. Basically, Sproles is waiting to see if the Eagles draft a running back or not. If they do, he probably calls it quits. If they don’t, then he will probably take a cheap, one-year deal to give it one last ride.

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While I don’t suggest the Eagles go with that plan, considering Sproles’ inability to stay healthy, we can’t rule out that option as it is realistic. However, there’s an even more significant move that is a real possibility for the Eagles. Once again, Howie can pick up the phone and make a trade. This time, it could be with the Cleveland Browns.

As the Cleveland Browns signed Kareem Hunt this offseason, they upset one of their homegrown draft picks. Their fifth-year veteran Duke Johnson has grown upset with his role on the Browns. He’s been in Cleveland for a total of 60 games, but Johnson has only started in ten of them. After the signing of Hunt, Johnson came to realize that his role in Cleveland will be nothing more than a buried backup. Hence the reason why he is deciding to sit out of workouts as he waits for a trade.

Is Duke Johnson to the Eagles realistic?

Before the trade for Jordan Howard, the Eagles were rumored to have a legitimate interest in trading for Duke Johnson. Although they ended up with Howard, the idea of adding Johnson as well shouldn’t be ruled out. Keep in mind, the price for Jordan Howard costed the Eagles a 2020 sixth-round pick. That’s quite the difference in price as he was expected to cost at least a mid-round pick for this year’s draft. The Eagles caught a bargain, now they have other assets to spend.

While Howard is a good power runner for the Birds, his ability to catch out of the backfield is a bit questionable. The Eagles like running backs with hands, and that are a threat in the passing game. As Johnson has accounted for 2,170 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in pretty much a pass-only role with the Browns, he could seriously be the much-needed complement to Howard’s game.

Next. What we learned from Jordan Howard’s presser. dark

Howard, Johnson, and Corey Clement could be a solid three-man backfield. The Eagles will most likely draft a back this season, but grabbing Johnson for a reasonable price shouldn’t be ruled out. If that’s the case, then the Eagles could solve all of their backfield’s problems with proven players, eliminating the gamble that comes with rookies from the NFL Draft.