Last night the Eagles sent social media into meltdown not once, but twice. First Howie Roseman was somehow not only able to lift the weight of Byron Maxwell’s contract but then news emerged that DeMarco Murray will be playing for the Titans next season. Now the full details of the trades are still unknown and we likely won’t find out what they are until Wednesday, (although if the Eagles and Dolphins swap first round picks remember where you heard the hypothetical trade first) but what we do know is that the Eagles now have huge holes at cornerback and running back.
— Philly Sports Network (@PhiladelphiaSN) March 7, 2016
With Ryan Mathews reportedly being shopped as well, it would leave just Darren Sproles and Kenjon Barner as the backs on the roster if a trade were to take place. Many beat writers are looking to the draft to find DeMarco Murray’s replacement which is absolutely logical. Both Derrick Henry and Ezekiel Elliott would be great additions to the roster, especially considering the teams new direction that involves building for the future…but the answer may be even simpler.
When Jamaal Charles fell injured during the middle of last season, many fans of the Kansas City Chiefs began to abandon hope and why wouldn’t they?! Your lead running back goes down and you’re left with a Quarterback who had previously went through an extensive period without a passing touchdown. But Andy Reid and Doug Pederson had a few aces up their sleeve.
Many expected Davis, the long term backup for the Chiefs to step up to the plate but instead..they rode the hot hand and went with the man who enjoyed a very strong pre-season, Charcandrick West. West runs a very similar style to Charles..but the Chiefs knew they had to do something different to keep Defenses on their toes..otherwise they become a team trying to run the ball in the exact same fashion with a less able and less intimidating back.
So, in came Spencer Ware and before you know it, the Chiefs had an extremely dynamic backfield that they never had the opportunity to toy with before due to the dominance of Jamaal Charles. The two backs began to split reps towards the end of the season and a one two punch was born. The two backs combined for over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns as Reid perfected harmonising the powerful running of West with the more elusive ability of Spencer Ware.
But West was arguably the biggest surprise for the Chiefs that season. An undrafted rookie a few seasons ago who turned heads in pre-season was averaging 4.0 yards per carry and had 4 rushing touchdowns on the season. But even his stats don’t do him complete justice due to the tandem. To establish why the Eagles should be interested, all you have to do is look at the games where he took more than 20 snaps.
Sam Bradford was 7-1 when his team had more than 100 rushing yards…with a back that not only embodies the physical and dominant running style of Jamaal Charles but is extremely familiar with both the Head Coach and the playbook, attempting to pursue West should be a no brainer for the Eagles.
West was set to become a Free Agent until recently when the Chiefs tendered the running back. The 24 year old could well become a trade target for Doug Pederson. It wouldn’t exactly be much of a hit against the Salary Cap considering he was an undrafted rookie three years ago and a tender isn’t exactly breaking the bank.
The only problem is that the Chiefs may seek something for West considering how useful he was in Kansas City last season, but who knows…Andy Reid might even want to give his old Offensive Coordinator a friendly discount..
As long as Jamaal Charles is healthy, he will never be replaced in Kansas City. There is definitely enough leverage to negotiate a deal…the Eagles could even try to negotiate a trade that would see Ryan Mathews head to Kansas City considering he’s on the trade block and has a more versatile style of running that would sit nicely behind Charles if the Chiefs are to retain a committee backfield..(just spitballing here).
The Eagles may well turn to the draft for a running back, but regardless of what they choose to do from here on out, taking a closer look at West should absolutely be on their to do list. Pederson knows him well, West knows the scheme well and with a Quarterback that’s going to be moulded by such a specialist staff, it’s almost a match made in heaven if the Eagles can upgrade their Offensive Line.