With only a few more weeks to go until the start of the 2016 NFL season, things have been rather quiet on the front of the Philadelphia Eagles. While the Eagles were regularly dominating the headlines and rumor mill during Chip Kelly’s recent tenure, there is not exactly a lot of excitement surrounding the rebuilding team, which is odd considering the passionate fanbase.
Regardless, the Eagles are unlikely to qualify for the playoffs this season, and their offense is already a cause for concern. While first-round draft pick Carson Wentz was already not going to start the season as the team’s starting quarterback, his recent injury is just another blow to a team that is looking to establish a new identity. The loss of Lane Johnson, who is expected to miss the first 10 games of the season due to suspension, is going to significantly weaken the offensive line. This is in addition to not having a ton of reliable talent at wide receiver and running back.
Sam Bradford, who has a history of injuries and mediocre play, will begin the season under center. While Bradford has shown flashes of brilliance, he does not have a lot to work with. When healthy, Ryan Mathews is actually one of the better running backs in the league. The only problem is that he is rarely able to remain healthy for more than a few games at a time. Darren Sproles is still a weapon at 33 years old, but he is unable to carry a significant load.
After being released by the Buffalo Bills, rumors regarding Karlos Williams’ next destination have been swirling over the past few hours. According to USA Today, he could even draw interest from the Eagles.
“Second-year running back Karlos Williams will be a free agent if he clears waivers after being released by the Buffalo Bills. Williams rushed for over 500 yards and scored seven rushing touchdowns as a rookie. He averaged 5.6 yards per carry as well. At 6-foot-1, 233-pounds, Williams would give the Eagles a big running back that can grind out those tough short yardage carries. He also has breakaway speed.”
Those are impressive numbers for the former fifth-round draft pick. At only 23 years old, it begs the question on why the Bills would give up on a young and talented player after only one season. While Williams produced on the field last year, there are serious concerns regarding his desire to play football. In addition to showing up to training camp overweight, he also has to serve a four-game suspension due to violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.
While Chip Kelly’s regime would have never taken a chance on a player like Williams, it appears as though new head coach Doug Pederson may have a slightly different philosophy. Since Kelly got rid of many of the team’s most talented offensive players, the Eagles are left with little in terms of talent at wide receiver and running back. Jordan Matthews has been solid in two seasons with the team, but it appears as though he is never going to be a No. 1 option. Nelson Agholor, who the Eagles took in the first round in 2015, has also struggled during his tenure with the team.
In order to improve the talent on the offensive side of the ball, the Eagles recently traded for Dorial Green-Beckham. While there are questions regarding Green-Beckham’s attitude and work ethic, he has the talent and potential to be a solid wide receiver in the NFL. Considering the team took a chance on him, Williams could be on their radar.
As USA Today notes, Mathews may currently be the superior back, but Williams could be the cheaper option.
“However, the Eagles will have some tough financial decisions to make after the 2016 season. Mathews will have a 35 million cap number if he’s on the roster in 2017. The Eagles would save $4 million if they released him after this season. If the Eagles signed Williams, they could get younger, more physical and save money at running back. It would be a win/win for both Williams and the Eagles.”
Whether or not the Philadelphia Eagles make an attempt to sign Karlos Williams remains to be seen, but they may be forced to take a look with their already thin options at running back.
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