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April 07, 2021

Eagles agree to terms with RB Jordan Howard

Eagles NFL
163_11032019_EaglesvsBears_Jordan_Howard_KateFrese.jpg Kate Frese/for PhillyVoice

Jordan Howard

The Philadelphia Eagles announced on Wednesday that they have agreed to terms with running back Jordan Howard.

During the 2019 season with the Eagles, Howard was an effective power runner, and a nice complement to the more explosive Miles Sanders. He carried 119 times for 525 yards (4.4 YPC) and 5 TDs. During the 2020 offseason, the Dolphins signed Howard to a two-year deal worth $9,750,000, with $4,750,000 guaranteed. 

Howard proceeded to have a horrible 2020 season, as he carried 28 times for 33 yards (1.2 YPC) and 4 TDs with the Dolphins, before they released him. He was then scooped up by the Eagles, and appeared in two games the rest of the season.

At the time the Eagles brought Howard back, it was believed by some that he was solely a short-yardage running back, hence the extremely low yards per carry average. That is false, as 15 (more than half) of Howard's carries came on plays in which the Dolphins had at least four yards to go for a first down. On those carries, Howard averaged 1.9 yards per carry.

Even as a short yardage back, Howard wasn't very effective, even if he scored 4 TDs. He carried 13 times on short yardage situations (1-3 yards to go), and only managed 8 yards (0.6 YPC), and 6 first downs (which would also include his 4 TDs).

As a receiver, Howard had 1 catch for -3 yards. He fumbled on that play.

The following is a cutup of all of Howard's touches with the Dolphins in 2020. It's... unimpressive.

The Dolphins were willing to part with Howard despite owing him the aforementioned $4,750,000 in guaranteed money, showing a willingness to pay him to play for some other team. Upon re-joining the Eagles, Howard carried 7 times for 27 yards.

Even if the Eagles think Howard has something left in the tank, why sign a running back with over 1,000 career touches who appears to be on the downside of his career in a season in which the owner has already essentially acknowledged that the team isn't going to compete for a Super Bowl in 2021? If it's a veteran minimum, non-guaranteed deal, then, OK, fine. Otherwise, much like the Joe Flacco signingI don't get it.

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