It seems like the Eagles can’t stay out of headlines this offseason. Good or bad, someone is mentioning Philadelphia somewhere. But this person was probably the least expected to sound off on his frustrations with the team.
The Carolina Panthers’ newest running back, Miles Sanders, has voiced his frustrations about his lack of touches in the Super Bowl. If you recall, Kenny Gainwell made the most of his opportunities during the Eagles’ playoff run despite a career year from Sanders.
Miles Sanders set several career highs with the Eagles last season. It was the most games started in his career (15) along with the most attempts he ever had (259). He made the most of his opportunities by tallying 1,269 rushing yards and scoring 11 touchdowns while averaging 4.9 yards per carry. All of those numbers were milestones for the former Eagles running back except for yards per carry.
Eagles and Miles Sanders on bad terms?
But it seems as if that wasn’t enough for him. Which is completely understandable. He went from playing 57% of the Eagles’ offensive snaps to only 35% in the Super Bowl. He finished that game with 7 carries for 16 yards as the Eagles suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Miles Sanders had this to say about his lack of touches on the NFL’s biggest stage: “Last game of the season? For all of the marbles? Everybody can answer that question,” Sanders stated. “If they put themselves in my shoes, would they be happy? I don’t want to make headlines, if it does, I don’t care.”
This is understandable coming from the running back who was always cheerful during his time with the Eagles, but at the same time, it’s a bit out of character. The Eagles have always praised the next-man-up mentality and have always put the team above all else. It seems like that no longer matters to Miles Sanders.
Despite the Super Bowl frustration, it seems like there’s another reason why Miles Sanders left. About leaving the Eagles to sign with the Panthers Sanders went on to say, “I can get into that another day, maybe,” Sanders said. “Maybe you should ask them why I’m moving here.”
While he teases that there could be some juice to the story of him leaving Philadelphia. The Eagles have never been a team to pay a RB big money which is what Sanders received in Carolina. Instead, the Eagles went in a different direction by signing Rashaad Penny to a deal worth $1.35 million with only $600K of it being guaranteed.
They followed that move by trading with the Lions for D’Andre Swift, who just so happens to be under his rookie contract still. Swift has a base salary of $1.7 million this season and will become a free agent if the Eagles let him walk.
As for Miles Sanders, he went on to sign a four-year, $25 million contract with $11 million guaranteed at signing. His average yearly salary is about $6.9 million. While the grass isn’t usually greener on the other side, it seems like his bank account is. He’s also part of a new offensive nucleus under Panthers head coach Frank Reich.
While we may never know what happened behind the scenes between the Eagles and Sanders, many fans can appreciate what he’s done in Philly during his time there.
AP Photo/John Minchillo