Not a few people raised their eyebrows when they learned that the Philadelphia Eagles decided to make a splurge in the offseason on running back Saquon Barkley. Despite being viewed as a damage good by many, Barkley still managed to land a hefty three-year deal worth $37.75 million with Philadelphia. But for Philly general manager Howie Roseman, the move to acquire Barkley was a result of careful deliberation that made the Eagles realize the upside that the 27-year-old tailback brings to the City of Brotherly Love — all things considered.

Eagles GM explains reasoning behind Saquon Barkley signing

Philadelphia Eagles running back Saquon Barkley speaks during a press conference after signing with the Eagles.
Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

Roseman showed awareness of the risk of signing someone like Barkley, who is definitely talented but always has a big question mark when it comes to durability. But the Eagles appeared to love the Barkley's equity even after considering his health. Roseman and Philly simply found Barkley's value too good to pass up on.

“It’s hard to find difference-making players and people, and it’s hard to find them for a cost,” Roseman said on the Adam Schein of Mad Dog Sports Radio when asked about the Eagles signing Barkley in the offseason (h/t Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk).

“Those guys, they go for a lot of money, and we felt like there was an opportunity to get one of those guys in Saquon and bring him to the team. There’s risk in every decision you make, but we don’t think there’s any risk on the talent. We don’t think there’s any risk on the person. And we also feel like maybe — not that it wasn’t anywhere else — but we have a good situation here with us in Philly to kind of maximize him. I don’t think there’s anyone when he came out of the draft that didn’t think he wasn’t a Hall of Fame-caliber talent and person. He’s still young, and we’re really excited to have him.”

Barkley was among the top free-agent running backs in the 2024 offseason along with the likes of Josh Jacobs, Austin Ekeler, Derrick Henry, and Tony Pollard. Jacobs is now with the Green Bay Packers, Ekeler with the Washington Commander, Henry with the Baltimore Ravens, and Pollard with the Tennessee Titans.

Barkley's 2024 outlook with Philadelphia

Barkley decided to take his talents to Philly after the New York Giants, whom he played for in his first six seasons in the pros, after the Giants did not use the franchise tag on him for the 2024 season. The Eagles have been a run-heavy squad the last seasons with Miles Sanders and D'Andre Swift leading the running back room and with dual-threat quarterback Jalen Hurts also playing a big role in the team's ground attack. Sanders and Swift are both gone, and it's now Barkley who takes over as the Eagles' RB1 a year after he rushed for 962 yards and six touchdowns on 247 carries in his final season in Giants threads.

A two-time Pro Bowler, Barkley projects to have a better season in 2024 than the one he had in 2023. For one, Philadelphia has a better offensive landscape. In 2023, the Eagles ranked seventh overall in the league with 24.6 points per game and ninth with 124.0 rushing yards per outing. Apart from his abilities on the ground, Barkley can also contribute a lot to the Eagles' passing game. It may be a long shot for him to get as many receiving yards as he did in his rookie year with the Giants in 2018 (721), but he should have a significant role in that area in 2024.