A hypothetical trade from the guys at Bleacher Report appears to have sent social media into a tailspin. In a recent article depicting one trade each team should make prior to the start of the 2022 season, Ian Wharton suggested that the Eagles move Andre Dillard in exchange for Kareem Hunt.
Why is Kareem Hunt on the trade block?
The 27-year-old running back only played in 8 games last year due to a calf injury, but still looked like his explosive self when healthy. The only issue is that he’s buried behind Nick Chubb and D’Ernest Johnson, and now the Browns have drafted Jerome Ford, leaving him largely out in the cold.
However, Hunt is a back who is showing no signs of slowing down and is versatile. He has 1,596 career receiving yards and 16 touchdowns, while he matched his career-high YPC in 2021 in a limited sample size.
A physical runner who could fill the hole left by Jordan Howard, this move makes sense from an Eagles perspective…up to a point. The two wildcards here are Andre Dillard and how GM Howie Roseman values running backs.
Would the Eagles move Andre Dillard?
If Andre Dillard was going to be moved this offseason, it would’ve happened by now. The Washington State product is the primary backup behind Jordan Mailata and is arguably at a fringe-starting level for most teams in the NFL. He does have value, but the Eagles know that depth along the OL will always be tested and behind Dillard are very few viable options.
There is a big drop in talent between him and Brett Toth. Dillard can’t play the LT spot either, limiting optionality. Le’Raven Clark’s versatility could be handy if the team do trade Dillard, but there really isn’t a viable backup tackle in the event Dillard is moved.
As for the Browns, do they even need a tackle?
Jedrick Wills was a first-round pick in 2020 and is the current starting LT. He had a PFF grade of 66.1 in 2021, but that’s including a portion of the season fighting through injury. Had it not been for cluster injuries last year, this group would’ve been fine. They have Jack Conklin on the right, some developmental pieces in behind, and aren’t really in a dire spot to trade for someone who would unseat Wills, who played pretty solid all things considered.
Does a move make sense?
Kareem Hunt’s contract expires in 2023 and he has a 2022 cap hit of $6.2M this season, and that in itself is problematic if you’re an Eagles fan. Howie Roseman does not like paying running backs and his entire backfield (Sanders, Gainwell, Scott, Huntley) adds up to $5.9M, the lowest amount in the NFL by quite some margin. It’s unlikely that Roseman would want to trade for a running back and pay a chunky salary. They also only have $3.9M in cap space going into the move.
The Eagles should have interest in Kareem Hunt, but their belief is that it’s the offensive line that can do the most damage in the run game and they’re not wrong. Every running back placed in that backfield has thrived over the past few years, many of whom have been low draft-picks or UDFA’s.
Lest we forget that Josh Adams once led the entire team in rushing. The Eagles aren’t going to fork out for a running back when they know that they have cheap and cheerful guys who can get the job done.
They may need to find a replacement for Miles Sanders next year, but until then, the backfield should stay relatively stable and Kareem Hunt does not need to be included in those plans.
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