One of the stranger but less publicised free agency move this year was the Chicago Bears decision to send former Pro Bowl running back Jordan Howard to the Eagles for a – wait for it – Sixth Round pick in 2020!
Now if he was past his prime and not used much then it could be fathomed, however, he is one of only three players (Ezekiel Elliot and Todd Gurley being the other two) with at least 250 touches and 1,000 scrimmage yards in each of the last three seasons. Can you imagine either of them being given up for a 6th rounder – thought not. Howard also set the Bears Rookie rushing record in 2016 with 1,313 yards in 2016 and still has a year of his rookie contract left meaning he is incredibly cheap compared to what the league’s other Tier 1 backs are earning. They could have got another season out of him and then tagged him if necessary before seeking a trade. Bearing in mind he is only 24 this looks like a great deal for the Eagles, who struggled a bit with their running game last year despite making the postseason.
What is even more surprising is that given the Bears are uber light on draft picks this year (only 5 and on 6th rounder) they have deferred the pick to 2020. Their first pick is no 87 in round three and given they have holes on the defence its not likely they take one then. So they will either have to rely on their existing pair Cohen & Davis, try and pick up someone who slips into round seven sign a veteran like Doug Martin who can still do the job.
The next few weeks will be interesting.