On Monday evening, the Eagles announced that running back, Jay Ajayi, tore his ACL during week 5 against the Vikings. Trade Talks have already been surrounding the Eagles leading up to this week with Le’Veon Bell still holding out and hoping for a trade. Howie Roseman was also busy this past Friday, managing to restructure Fletcher Cox’s contract, saving $6.5 million in cap space for this season per Adam Schefter which opens up a large chunk of change to bring someone in.
Option 1: Le’Veon Bell
Rumors have been swirling for weeks now that the Eagles are the darkhorse to land Bell, whether it be by trade or free agency in the off-season. Many fans and analysts believed before this week that if the Eagles were to make a move for him, it wouldn’t be until after the season is over since Jay Ajayi is on the roster. Things have obviously changed now and Howie Roseman loves to make a splash, even if it is mid-season. Reports have been out that the Steelers are asking for a second round pick and a “good” player in return for Bell. The Eagles should be more than willing to give up a second round pick for Bell given that they hold two of them in this year’s draft. The “good” player is where things get tough. The Steelers secondary has been torched this season and they could be looking for a cornerback. Rasul Douglas is entering his second year and has received very little playing time thus far. The Steelers love their cornerbacks to be very physical and they may be willing to take a chance on someone like Douglas who has upside.
Option 2: David Johnson
Right after the news broke that Ajayi had torn his ACL, Derrick Gunn from NBCSPhilly tweeted this out:
The rumor has been out there for a while that the eagles are interested in Le'veon Bell…. but don't be surprised if they're also inquiring about Arizona RB David Johnson.
— Derrick Gunn (@RealDGunnNBCS) October 8, 2018
Many people saw this tweet and ran with it but it is purely speculation. The Cardinals just inked David Johnson to a big deal exactly one month ago and he is their only weapon on offense. He also has very little tread on the tires for a 26-year-old running back compared to others on a team that is only a few pieces from competing for a playoff spot. The Eagles would have to completely blow the Cardinals away with an offer in order to pry David Johnson out of their hands.
Option 3: LeSean McCoy
Another big name option out there is former Eagle, LeSean McCoy. Three years ago, Chip Kelly traded McCoy to the Buffalo Bills but could he really end up back in Midnight Green? The Bills are in the beginning stages of a rebuild and still have a couple of years until they are competing for anything. Shady McCoy is heading towards the end of his career but still has the burst to make things happen. There were also reports that Howie Roseman attempted to bring him back last season before they ended up trading for Jay Ajayi and winning a Super Bowl. McCoy has always showed his love and admiration for Philadelphia even after his departure and Roseman could get the ultimate revenge on the Chip Kelly era that had taken him from his rightful place on the throne.
Option 4: Smallwood, Clement, Adams and Sproles
This will not be a fan-favorite option but is the most likely one for the the Eagles. Clement, Smallwood, and Adams are all averaging over 4 yards per carry on the season proving that the running game still isn’t struggling even when Ajayi is out. The Eagles front office could easily look at the tape and the numbers and decide that bringing someone else in would not give them any advantage over what they already have on the roster. With Sproles unable to play since week one, the running back core would be depleted if any of the other 3 injury-prone backs were to go down. Either way, Roseman and the Eagles are going to be connected to multiple running backs unless a move is made.