Eagles rumors: Philadelphia named possible destination for Marlon Mack
By Kristen Wong
At this point in the season, every team’s running back room could use an upgrade, and the Philadelphia Eagles are no exception.
Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report recently released a list of potential landing spots for Indianapolis Colts’ RB Marlon Mack, who has requested a trade. His team is open to exploring options (none of that Ben Simmons drama here). Might Philly make sense?
As expected, the Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers appeared on the list given the Baltimore Ravens’ early injury woes at the position and the Panthers’ caution with bringing Christian McCaffrey back from injury.
Davenport also includes the Eagles as a potential landing spot for Mack, but not without throwing some slight shade:
"The Philadelphia Eagles are an outlier among the teams listed in that they aren’t a playoff contender…."
We get it. The Eagles got pounded by Dallas and no one has faith in them anymore, but Davenport then suggests that loss could be a major factor in Philly possibly pursuing a veteran back.
Against the Cowboys, the Eagles virtually abandoned the running game and recorded just 64 rushing yards as a team. Philly’s RBs — third-year Miles Sanders and rookie Kenneth Gainwell — carried the ball three times. Three times, between the two of them. All game.
To add more scrutiny to Philly’s run offense, Sanders has seen a gradual decrease in carries through three weeks of the season. He recorded 15 touches in Week 1, 13 in Week 2, and two in Week 3. Last week, Sanders’ total touches were upped to seven, but those still shouldn’t be the numbers for any team’s RB1.
Philadelphia Eagles could entertain Marlon Mack trade to improve RB room in 2021
Should the Eagles continue to treat Sanders extra delicately? Davenport proposes trading for a veteran complement could solve the team’s running woes.
"The Eagles have also made an effort to procure a veteran complement for Sanders, taking a flier on former Lions running back Kerryon Johnson and stashing Jordan Howard on the practice squad. Mack would be an upgrade over both of those backs, and with a number of coaches in Philadelphia with ties to the Colts (including head coach Nick Sirianni), there’s a level of familiarity."
Still, if the Eagles are worried about Sanders’ durability, they should be doubly worried about Mack’s durability.
Mack is just coming off of an Achilles injury from last season, and even when he was healthy, he has never played a full 16-game schedule. His best season was two years ago when he completed a 1,000-yard rushing campaign and added eight scores.
For a select few running backs, their best days aren’t behind them. Alvin Kamara and Derrick Henry are two names that come to mind when we think of invincible perennial rushing leaders.
Mack, however, is 25 and showing no signs of rebounding to the player he was in 2019, not even close. Compared to Sanders and Gainwell, he does provide a unique skillset in Philly’s RB room as a power back, but age and durability should be the top consideration if Philly decides to make a move for the veteran.
There’s no reason Philly should break the bank to add an experienced RB like Marlon Mack right now, and their running offense tandem of Sanders and Gainwell could pose one of the league’s most dangerous running threats if Philly figures out how to maximize their roles in the offense.
That’s a big if, but what Philly doesn’t need to do is panic-buy or trade for another player as a lazy fix-all to their problems.
As it stands, Sanders is more reliable, Gainwell has more upside, and other teams are needier and thus more willing to fork over high draft capital. The Mack trade could make sense for Philly, but probably not right now.