MARCH 24: Pouring water on the potential of an Elliott-to-Philadelphia move, John Clark of NBC Sports tweets that the Eagles have not yet talked with the three-time Pro Bowler about a contract. He adds that the reigning NFC champions are “happy” with their current situation in the backfield. That update illustrates the reality that Elliott’s preferred destinations represents a wish list on his part, more so than a shortlist of interested suitors.
MARCH 23: Although the Cowboys moved on from his lucrative contract last week, Ezekiel Elliott looks to have generated some interest elsewhere. He may have a new team before the end of the month.
Elliott wants to have a destination in place by the end of next week, and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com notes the two-time rushing champion has narrowed his choices to the Eagles, Bengals or Jets (Twitter link). It is unclear if each team has offered Elliott a deal, but each has some level of need in the backfield.
The Bengals have shown interest, Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. They have already lost Samaje Perine to the Broncos. Perine said (via the Denver Post’s Parker Gabriel) he chose Denver because of Sean Payton’s history using multiple running backs. Perine also looks to be insurance against Javonte Williams needing in-season time to finish up his ACL recovery.
The Bengals, however, wanted Perine back. They offered their Joe Mixon backup nearly identical terms to what he signed for in Denver, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Perine signed a two-year, $7.5MM deal with the Broncos. The Bengals have also stopped short of guaranteeing Mixon would be back. The seventh-year back’s $12MM-AAV extension runs through 2024 and calls for salaries north of $9MM this year and next. Elliott spelling Mixon might not be the plan here, with Conway pointing to this as an either/or situation.
As the Jets prepare to trade for Aaron Rodgers, they are moving aggressively to surround him with talent. Allen Lazard and Mecole Hardman are en route, and the team moved up in the draft by unloading Elijah Moore. The Jets join the Broncos in having their starting running back — Breece Hall — coming off an October ACL tear. The Jets showed interest in ex-Rodgers teammate Jamaal Williams, but the breakthrough Lions back chose the Saints.
Philadelphia, which once signed DeMarco Murray after Dallas let him walk in 2015, has added Rashaad Penny in free agency. That deal is more of a flier, considering the ex-Seahawks first-rounder’s injury history, but the Eagles also re-signed longtime backup Boston Scott and roster Kenneth Gainwell. Elliott could be a piece of this equation, but it would be uncharacteristic for Howie Roseman — who was demoted during Chip Kelly’s 2015 in power — to splurge for a back. But Elliott moving from the Cowboys to their biggest divisional threat would obviously be a captivating storyline.
Elliott, 27, has seen his snap share drop in each of the past four seasons, with Tony Pollard showcasing himself as the more efficient member of the Cowboys’ backfield. With the latter seeing more early-down work, Elliott has seen his role shift to that of a short-yardage specialist; that, coupled with his general decline, helped account for his career-low numbers in 2022 (876 yards at an average of 3.8 per carry). Those figures made it obvious that he would become a cap casualty for Dallas this offseason.
Now, Elliott appears close to the beginning of the second chapter of his NFL career. A deal sending him to any of the three aforementioned teams would likely involve plenty of work on third down given his recent short-yardage history but also his proficiency in pass protection. In any case, a new contract would be far more modest than what he was due on his now former Cowboys accord. The Bengals, unlike the Eagles and Jets, currently reside in the top-10 in the league in cap space, so they could win out a potential bidding war. How much interest each team shows in Elliott will be a key storyline to follow in the secondary waves of free agency.
Adam La Rose contributed to this post.
51 comments on “Ezekiel Elliott Eyeing Eagles, Bengals, Jets”
Jets seem to be on everyone’s radars
You mean everyone who enjoys a good train wreck.
The Train wreck being Zeke? The guy would be getting a contract on name alone. He is a has been whose best years are behind. When the smartest man in football “ just ask Jerra “ gives up on you it is OVEAH
Cross off the Bengals. Zac Taylor just basically said, Thanks but no Thanks. And then there were 2. LMAO And I’m pretty sure the Eagles can and will do better than Zeke from Disappointment Creek. Besides, The Bengals already have Pain in the A** RB.
Not for long. Mixon getting cut
Does Aaron approve? More important question.
The SuperTeam theory. I love it as a Jets and Mets’ fan, but am very wary of it as a Nets’ fan. I’m not certain about how good the fit for Zeke would be if Breece is back to full health.
The National Sports Media worship “Super Teams”. So do dumb sports fans that equate one sport with another.
It’s a 1-2 punch there jerky
I’m not sure if you’re referring to me or to Chucky, but Michael Carter is the other part of their 1-2 punch and Hall and Carter are on much more affordable contracts than Zeke would be. They’re going to need the cap space for AR12 and for additions to the line.
I think it’s always easier for a player to find motivation when he joins a division rival.
The only way he’s coming to Philly is if he wants to play for basically nothing. As much as I love Howie Roseman, he might value kickers and punters more than Running Backs. I don’t see Elliot signing a $1m 1-year contract. And that’s all Philly would offer him
True, the low salary they could afford him wouldn’t seem enticing unless he comes in on a 1 year prove it deal hoping to win a ring and cash in. They can’t build the roster they need by paying him or any other free agent RB all that much right now.
They never actually played together because Burrow was redshirting Zeke’s last year, but it’s weird to remember those two overlapped at Ohio State.
Mixon is a good RB, but already his off duty conduct is coming out. If Cincy wants to cut lose from Joe this would make some sense, but someone needs to take Joe and his contract.
They don’t need to take his contract if he’s cut. I doubt anyone would trade for Mixon unless he agrees to take a cut in pay, and if he’s gonna do that, he’s probably better off picking his own team
I’m thinking it’s only dead money this year then ok, but I think it would be dead money next year too which doesn’t make a lot sense. I mean mixon is better, Zeke is bad, and the mixon conduct is super concerning but not untenable….yet.
As long as he’s not designated a post-June 1 cut any dead money hits this year. It will have a net savings for the Bengals of $7+ MM.
Seriously? The guy had a well known rap sheet coming out of OU and the Bengals still drafted him. As long as he’s hitting holes and gaining yardage, their front office is smart enough to know it’ll all quickly be forgotten
Elliot going to the Eagles and contributing to wins over Dallas would be hilarious.
Eagles would be a good fit. They would benefit from a potential game closing back. Hurts would benefit from a backfield companion who can:
1. block for Hurts on options
2. block for Hurts on pass
3. carry the ball himself
4. do a good job on screens
Elliot is apparently solid as a blocker these days. Downside is that Elliot is not much of a home run threat these days (certainly was when he came into the league).
Forget Zeke, the one Cowgirl that belongs in an Eagles jersey is Parsons.
Zeke’s final play as a Cowboy was getting pancaked as a center. So don’t forget he has multi-positional utility now.
Jets do need a center…
Jets play Dallas this term, but it would be really crackpot of Joe Douglas to put together an “Over the Hill Gang” like the Washington Redskins of yore.
ChuckyNJ Zeke would just be a backup veteran anyway, not the main RB.
I don’t see a bidding war needing to be won. Vet minimum or there abouts
He should put the Ravens on his list.
Zeke won’t be worth it. They’d be better off drafting Bijan since Penny and Boston are just one year deals. Bijan and Gainwell and then add a veteran after that.
I would doubt the Eagles would sign him, they have cheaper more athletic (now that he’s basically toast) options.
As a fan who’s played too much madden, I want bijan on the bengals. As a fan who understands rbs are a dime a dozen, I want a 1st round corner, 2nd round TE, 3rd round rb. By game 8 he’ll take over for mixon. Then cut him next year
Speaking as a Jets fan:
Jets are gonna do Jets things.
Comical – Breece Hall and Micheal Carter tweeted , “ No thanks Zeke” … guess it’s down to Bengals and Eagles
With Mr. Rodgers repeating history and looking to wear a different shade of green…
Only fitting that Zeke should go back in time before realignment and sign with division rival Arizona Cardinals.
In other news, Pete Rozelle is still dead.
No no no no no no. If you’re an Eagles fan and you want this clown, give your card back.
Won’t be big contract so bengals makes too much sense to play with mixon don’t need to cut him to fit zeke in and gives them 2 solid backs just offset it with a cheap 3rd down pass catching option I mean running back is now becoming one of the easiest positions to fill money wise
I disagree – looking at stats – they are the same player – Zeke and Mixon. Zeke gets a bump up because he’s a good pass blocker. I hope they cut Mixon and draft from a deep crop of RBs in the draft. If they sign Zeke , Mixon will not be back unless he takes a significant cut. I really wish the Bengals would let Trayveon Williams play. I think that kid can be a stud if given the opportunity.
I think the nonsensical Eagles angle is media making stuff up. I heard one time that they do that. It’s likely the Jets bc Rodgers will want to be surrounded by veterans.
Jets…just say no please…
Love the media as always. Put it out and see if it sticks? ESPN did a piece on: Where Elliott may be a fit? After filtering it through the media thrasher of misinformation these are the places ELLIOTT WANTS TO GO? I’d hold off on buying his jersey until these teams actually speak to him!
Who would want to pay the 36th best back in the league more than the league minimum?
I hope the Eagles sign him as a Cowboys fan. The legs just don’t have the burst anymore. He’s a tough yards guy at this point.
True, and it seems like every former Dallas player that signs in Philly ends up being a big mistake.
To be clear, the Jets, Eagles and Bengals have not shown any interest in Zeke. This is Zeke’s wish list. Huge difference. Also, none of the three are going to happen for him for a multitude of reasons.
He should’ve been released by the Cowboys years ago. I never thought he was that great. He always seemed like a little above average running back
This stupid rumor just reminds me how sick I was went Breece hall went down. He was fantasy’s mvp and would easily have been the #1 pick this year with rodgers at qb. By a mile
What happen to the Buccaneers???
Lazard and Hardman isn’t exactly bringing in “talent.” And the Jets certainly put the cart before the horse this offseason. Still think they should’ve gone after Carr.