#Eagles sign RB Felix Jones to a one-year deal and have released WR Marvin McNutt.— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) May 14, 2013
ESPN’s Adam Schefter originally reported this news:
Former Cowboys running back Felix Jones reached agreement on a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 14, 2013
Philadelphia already has an impressive backfield featuring LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown. However, new head coach Chip Kelly typically runs a fast-paced offense, so the more reliable players he has on the roster, the fresher each back will be when rotated into the game.
Jones will have ample opportunity to shine with the Eagles. Shared playing time doesn't figure to be an issue for him either, as he spent the first five years of his career in Dallas as the No. 2 running back or as part of a tandem.
And the Eagles' style of offense should afford the veteran plenty of chances to show how much talent he has in the tank.
One of the biggest knocks on Jones has been his inability to stay healthy (he dealt with a nagging knee injury last year), but he played in parts of all 16 games last year for Dallas. Kelly and the Eagles’ coaching staff seem to have felt he was a risk worth taking.
While Jones struggled at times in 2012—he averaged just 3.6 yards per carry—the former free agent has an excellent career average of 4.8 yards per carry and will look to regain that form under the tutelage of the Eagles.
Despite not playing his best last season, Jones has the explosiveness Kelly wants from a running back (h/t Eagles insider Eliot Shorr-Parks):
Jones has receiving TD of 27 yds or more every yr since his rookie yr & a rushing TD of 40 yds or more every year but last season #Eagles— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) May 14, 2013
Kelly and Philadelphia will be running the ball a lot this year—just ask B/R's Sigmund Bloom—and Jones will get his fair share of opportunities if he can stay healthy:
Oregon ran the ball 685 times last year RT @adamschefter Felix Jones reached agreement on a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.— Sigmund Bloom (@SigmundBloom) May 14, 2013
As solid as Jones is carrying the ball out of the backfield, the team will be looking to use the back’s ability to catch the ball and block in the fast-paced offense's passing game.
The running back has very soft hands as a pass-catcher, and when Dallas used him last season, he caught 25 of the 36 passes thrown his way for an average of 10.2 yards per catch.
Is Felix Jones the right fit in Philadelphia?
Jones also knows protection schemes from his time blocking for Tony Romo and the Cowboys, and he's versatile enough to step in on any down and help give whomever is under center the extra protection they need.
Add in the possibility that the team could use him in the return game (h/t Tim Kavanagh of ESPN) and this is an ideal situation for both the team and the player.
This is a low-risk signing by Kelly and a great schematic fit. A very smart move.