Jordan Howard Traded from Bears to Eagles for 2020 Draft PickMarch 29, 2019
The Philadelphia Eagles added a young running back with two 1,000-yard seasons on his resume Thursday when they traded for Jordan Howard.
Philadelphia landed the 24-year-old in a trade with the Chicago Bears, sending the NFC North team a 2020 sixth-round pick that could become a fifth-round pick, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.
This comes after Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported the Bears were shopping Howard during the NFL Scouting Combine. What's more, ESPN's Adam Schefter noted "multiple teams" discussed a trade during the combine.
The Bears also signed running back Mike Davis this offseason as a potential replacement.
Although he was productive at times in Chicago, Howard was something of an awkward fit in head coach Matt Nagy’s offensive scheme. JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago delved into the numbers, noting the team "may need different personnel and/or tweaks to the scheme to trust their ground game" after the running back had just 10 carries for 35 yards in a playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Stankevitz pointed out the Jacksonville Jaguars were the only team in the league that averaged fewer yards per play on play action than Chicago, which was a problem given Nagy’s tendency to turn to those designs in the passing game.
Howard averaged less than three yards per carry in 11 of his 17 games in 2018, creating a situation where defenses didn’t have to honor the run during the early stages of those play-action plays.
The Bears also have the versatile Tarik Cohen in their backfield, and he is a dangerous game-changer anytime he gets his hands on the ball. He led the team with 71 receptions for 725 yards and five touchdowns in 2018 and tallied 4.5 yards per carry compared to Howard’s 3.7.
Despite the lackluster fit in the Windy City, Howard can still be a valuable player for his new team following this trade.
He is only 24 and managed a solid 935 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground last year even with the inconsistency. He brings a notable physicality at the goal line and on short-yardage situations, and he finished with more than 1,000 rushing yards in the two years before Nagy arrived.
Philadelphia will hope Howard discovers the form he demonstrated in 2016 and 2017 with a change of scenery and helps lead it to the postseason as a consistent option in the backfield.
Will Brinson of CBS Sports is a fan of the deal:
The Eagles also need help at the running back position after they were an ugly 28th in the league in rushing yards during the 2018 campaign. There was also depth chart uncertainty entering the offseason with Jay Ajayi as a free agent coming off a torn ACL, Darren Sproles past his prime at 35 years old and Corey Clement coming off a knee injury.
Howard helps address concerns about the depth.