Replacing Miles Sanders
The Eagles drafted Miles Sanders in the second round of the 2019 draft. The last four seasons Sanders has been the lead back for Philadelphia. He played in 57 games and was a productive player during his time here. Sanders is coming off a career year, but the Eagles could not afford to keep him. Last season, he had 259 carries, for 1,269 rushing yards, and eleven touchdowns. Carolina got a good player but Philly was wise to let him go. Even though it was right to let him walk, this production will not be easy for the Eagles to replace.
To offset the loss of Sanders, Howie Roseman added Rashaad Penny. Penny signed a one year deal, worth up to $1,350,000 million (600k guaranteed). Even though Penny has been in the league a year longer than Sanders he has only played 42 games for the Seahawks, 15 less than Sanders played. If Penny can stay healthy this has the potential to be a home run signing. Last season he only played in five games due to a broken tibia. An improved offensive line and perhaps a change of scenery can help Rashaad Penny take his game to the next level.
Philadelphia’s new one-two punch out of the backfield will be Rashaad Penny and Kenneth Gainwell. These two, along with Boston Scott, will be tasked with replacing Miles Sanders. Gainwell will be entering his third year with the Eagles and is moving into a more prominent role. It feels like it is time for Gainwell to take on more responsibility in his third season and he showed flashes of his potential during the playoff run.
The biggest concern for Gainwell will be the increase in carries. He only had 53 carries last year compared to the 259 from Sanders. Further, Penny only had 57 carries last season. Each running back will have to carry a load they have not previously had to in their career. Yes, the talent is there but there is a lot to prove. With a new starting running back there aren’t major concerns with the Eagles running game because the offensive line is so good.
With no Miles Sanders the Eagles offense will have a new look offense. Lurie, Roseman, and Sirianni all believe Gainwell is ready for a bigger role on this team. Rashaad Penny is an intriguing signing who has the potential to dominate behind Hurts and the best offensive line in football. Look for each back to improve and have career years.
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