Eagles top personnel executive Howie Roseman‘s track record with respect to expenditures for, and evaluation of, running backs is not a strong one, which we discussed a bit last week. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, in reviewing that track record again, said that the Eagles did go after a running back in the first wave of free agency this year, but for some reason they fell short in their pursuit.
McLane reports that Philadelphia had targeted former Falcons running back Tevin Coleman, whom running backs coach Duce Staley said was the best back on the market (even though the market also included Le’Veon Bell and Mark Ingram). Coleman, though, ultimately signed a modest two-year pact with the 49ers, and McLane is unsure as to why Roseman was unable to close the deal. Coleman may have preferred to reunite with Kyle Shanahan, the former Falcons OC who is now San Francisco’s head coach, but Roseman had the money and the playing time opportunity to entice Coleman.
Now, Philadelphia still needs to upgrade the position, which is probably the weakest on the roster. McLane suggests that the club could look to trade for the Bears’ Jordan Howard or the Browns’ Duke Johnson, though he questions how willing Roseman would be to give up even a late-round draft pick for backs that are available for a reason (plus, while the team does not necessarily need a lead runner in the traditional sense, Johnson is an imperfect fit given that he is better as a receiver than as a running back).
Similarly, McLane does not believe the remaining backs on the free agent market — currently headed by T.J. Yeldon and Isaiah Crowell — are legitimate targets for Roseman. He thinks the Eagles, who have two picks in the second round and two in the fourth, could use one of those selections on an RB, especially given that this year’s draft class of running backs offers plenty of talent in the middle rounds. But given Roseman’s past, even that is far from a sure thing.
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