The Philadelphia Eagles had a pretty lovely offseason, given the situation they entered it, and that included building what is, on paper, a really good stable of running backs without investing many resources into the position.
Howie Roseman has historically never been one to spend high draft picks or significant money on the running back position.

However, an interesting tidbit was “reported” by Evan Massey from the website “NFL Analysis Network” connecting the Eagles to Colts’ disgruntled running back Jonathan Taylor, who is probably getting traded sometime in the next several days:

This could very well be a completely unsubstantiated report (I lean toward this being the case), but it at least prompts an interesting question: Should the Eagles have an interest in acquiring Taylor?

There is a lot to unpack here. Colts owner Jim Irsay refuses to give Taylor a contract extension as he enters the final year of his rookie deal, which is what prompted Taylor’s trade request at the end of July. Any team trading for Taylor would almost certainly have to have a contract extension in place as a part of the deal, and it would not be cheap. Taylor is just 24 years old and one of the elite players in his position. In 2021, he had one of the greatest seasons by a running back in NFL history, accumulating 2171 scrimmage yards and 20 total touchdowns while averaging 5.5 yards per rush on 332 carries. He was first-team All-Pro and the runner-up for Offensive Player of the Year, and he probably would have won the award in most years. Some nagging injuries held him back a little last year, but he is undoubtedly still one of the better skill-position players in the NFL. 

Even with the diminishing running-back market, I think Taylor deserves a pretty big contract. Will he get it? That is another question.

Miles Sanders’ deal with the Panthers was the only semblance of a decent contract handed to a running back this past offseason, and a couple of really good players, Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon, saw their contracts terminated and reduced, respectively, during this summer. It is clear that the league does not value the position the way it used to. Still, six teams are reportedly at least a little interested, and two teams have made offers, so it sounds like the Colts will get a pretty solid return for Taylor.

From the Eagles’ perspective, trading for Taylor would go against essentially every philosophy Howie Roseman abides by. This makes me very skeptical that he is “aggressively” pursuing Taylor, as the aforementioned story suggests. Would it be a smart move, hypothetically? It depends on your perspective on the Eagles. If you want to go all in on this season, then sure! Adding Taylor to this Eagles team would make them pretty much unstoppable on offense if they weren’t already. They would possess a top-five player at their respective positions at quarterback, running back, and tight end, in addition to two top-20 receivers and the best offensive line in the league.

Barring injury, I would probably bet anything they would lead the league in scoring in this scenario, and they would have to be considered the Super Bowl favorite. Conversely, this move would likely heavily compromise their long-term status as a Super Bowl contender.

Trading a first-round pick or picks whose values equate to such would be tough with the Jalen Hurts contract kicking in next year and a massive extension for DeVonta Smith on the horizon, plus a lot of current starters on the wrong side of 30.

They would be sacrificing a lot of their potential to add young talent in the future.

I am not entirely sold on the idea, especially considering the Eagles already seem to have a nice stable of ball carriers in place.
It will be a fun storyline to track in the meantime, though.

Photo: Zach Bolinger/Getty Images

Comments are closed.

Check Also

Need A Third Wheel?

Julio, Quez Watkins, and Zaccheaus weren’t the answer.Now, the Eagles will turn to t…