Philadelphia Eagles RB Jordan Howard has interesting contractual wrinkle

Jordan Howard, Philadelphia Eagles(Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Jordan Howard, Philadelphia Eagles(Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

Well, perhaps those of you that are still struggling with the Philadelphia Eagles‘ decision to re-sign Jordan Howard will feel better after reading this. What’s that? You didn’t realize that there was an issue? Oh, come on now!

It was hard not to react emotionally after Philly brought him back for a third stint on April 13th. Still, just in case you missed that, pull up a chair if you’re a Birds fan! We have much to discuss.

Here’s a brief walk down Memory Lane if you’re a Philadelphia Eagles story.

There may not be a fan base that follows their team more closely than that of the Philadelphia Eagles, so there’s no reason to insult your intelligence as a Birds fan. Here’s a quick refresher on Mr. Howard though.

Philly traded for 24 on March 28th of 2019 and gave up a sixth-round pick in the process. That seemed a tad inexpensive for a talented tailback who had been relatively healthy during his first three seasons with the Chicago Bears, but no one batted an eyelash.

Wouldn’t you know it? He looked good early, although it seemed strange that Philly wanted to turn him into LeGarrette Blount and pound him into the teeth of opposing defenses a little too often for some Birds fans liking. He got hurt though.

What was often described as a ‘stinger’ kept him out of action from Week 11 until he made his return in Week 17. He didn’t get any carries though. Philly then allowed him to walk in 2020’s offseason. He signed with the Miami Dolphins, didn’t do much, and found his way back to Philadelphia on November 23rd.

The result? He appeared in two games (Week 13 versus the Green Bay Packers and Week 16 versus the Dallas Cowboys) and carried the rock seven times for a total of 27 yards. Each tote looked worst than the one it followed. Do you remember how bad Jay Ajayi looked that last time? It was worse than that.

So, maybe it sounds crazy, but can you blame anyone that looks at his reacquisition and doesn’t think about Philly’s recent failures at the running back position when they kicked the tires on Darren Sproles and Corey Clement too many times? Some of this fan base even wanted LeSean McCoy back! Can you believe that?

This should make you feel better if you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan.

Here’s something of note. While some might have thought that adding Howard could have waited until after Philly made its 11 picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, that’s all water under the bridge now. Sure, Miles Sanders is a stud, but no one knows what to expect from Adrian Killins or Jordan Howard.

For all intents and purposes, it has to look and feel like the BIrds don’t have too many more slots that are open at tailback now. You can also state that it’s easy to fall into a discussion about how what they have isn’t all that impressive when you get past Boobie.

Howard’s signing isn’t one that should keep us up at night. You can lose some sleep. Just don’t lose that much. As NBC Sports Philadelphia’s own Dave Zangaro points out, Howard’s salary of $990,000 doesn’t include a signing bonus or any guaranteed money. He represents a cap hit of $850,000, so when you think of it that way, this feels like it’s pretty safe.

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Howard’s signing was puzzling at first. He’s clearly declined. He admitted he wasn’t getting any calls, similarly to how the Birds brought Jason Peters back when no one was calling him either. Still, even with that being said, he’s a veteran presence who could be serviceable if he got the ball five or six times a game to spell Sanders.

If this works, fine. If not, no big deal. Let’s hope for the former. Unfortunately, it feels like this team isn’t learning from the mistakes that they are making in roster-building.