Philadelphia Eagles fill the void at running back once again

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) heads to the goal line in the second quarter past
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) heads to the goal line in the second quarter past / Kevin R. Wexler / USA TODAY NETWORK

Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has never been afraid to be bold. He recognizes a need for the team, seemingly regardless of price and/or compensation, and does his best to bolster the team’s roster. He swung a trade in 2022 for Titans’ wide receiver A.J. Brown, who’s totaled 1,400-plus receiving yards in each of his two seasons with the team.

Last April, Roseman moved up in the draft to grab University of Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter. There was controversy surrounding the talented defender, but no matter. The former Bulldog earned NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.

In 2022, the Philadelphia Eagles would finish 14-3 and reach Super Bowl LVII. Their top threat out of the backfield was Miles Sanders, who ran for a career-best 1,269 yards and 11 touchdowns during the regular season. During the postseason, the 2019 second-round pick from Penn State saw his carries go from 17 to 11 to seven, respectively,

Sanders would take his talents to the Carolina Panthers. In the 2023 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions used the 12th overall pick on University of Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs. That apparently made D’Andre Swift expendable, and the Eagles obtained him via trade. He finished with a career-high 1,049 rushing for Nick Sirianni’s squad.

Now another curve ball. Swift signed a three-year deal with the Chicago Bears this month. No matter. The Birds opened their checkbook and inked a longtime divisional rival. Former New York Giants’ standout Saquon Barkley will now be a part of Kellen Moore’s offense via a three-year, $37.75 million deal (via Spotrac).

The Eagles, thanks in large part to annually one of the best offensive lines in the league, have had a strong running game in recent years. It was one of the major reasons the team defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. That afternoon, quarterback Nick Foles earned game MVP honors, and deservedly so. Meanwhile, Philadelphia’s ground attacked gouged Bill Belichick’s defense for 164 yards.

The addition of Barkley, who’s totaled 2,892 yards from scrimmage and reached the end zone 20 times the past two seasons in 30 regular-season contests, may be getting ready to haunt his former team in 2024 and beyond.