The Philadelphia Eagles have been outstanding this season. As of this writing, they are the only undefeated team in the NFL, and much of that is because of their balanced play on both ends of the field. Having said that, if there is one potential gap they need to fill as they make for the Super Bowl, it’s in their backfield. Here we’ll try to look at the next trade deadline move the Eagles must make to bolster Super Bowl run after Robert Quinn.
The Eagles are doing everything they can to improve their 6-0 record. As expected, they were buyers in the NFL trade market. In fact, they have recently acquired defensive end Robert Quinn from the Chicago Bears. They got Quinn on Wednesday, six days before the deadline of November 1st, and before the NFL’s Week 8 slate of games. That move may actually have some ramifications for other teams. It might drive some clubs on the fence to sell, especially if they lose this weekend.
The Eagles’ major goal was to replace Derek Barnett, who tore his ACL in Week 1 and was out for the season. While the fans may not see Barnett as a significant loss, the fact is that the Eagles saw Barnett as a key depth player. Recall that he had already played a dozen snaps before he fell down early in the second half against the Lions. Quinn was a great addition to fill that gap.
Going ahead, it’s pretty apparent that Roseman and the Eagles are still looking to enhance their roster for a very likely Super Bowl-sized run. Assessing the Eagles roster yields one truth — the running back position is seen to be the most probable need that has to be addressed.
As such, here is the next trade deadline move the Eagles must make to bolster their Super Bowl run after already getting Robert Quinn.
Eagles get Kareem Hunt
Browns get 2023 second-round pick, 2024 fourth-round pick
Yes, the Eagles are great. I mean, you cannot be less than great if you’re the only 6-0 team, right? As great as they are, though, they aren’t flawless. Not every single position on the squad is three or even two-deep.
This is why looking for a new RB is not necessarily a criticism of current RB1 Miles Sanders’ performance this season. In reality, Sanders is having a Pro Bowl season, but injuries can happen. For Sanders, in particular, injuries have hampered him throughout the past couple of seasons. This is why the Eagles cannot rest on their laurels. They know that depth is a luxury in such a competitive league.
First, let’s look at what Sanders has already done. He has had 105 carries this season, putting him on pace for 298 total. When he was a rookie in 2019, he had 179 carries, which is his current career-high. Take note that he missed four games due to injury in each of the previous two seasons. That includes three games missed at different stages during the 2021 season owing to three distinct injuries. Again, with Sanders, the concern is not production but availability.
As such, objectively speaking, the Eagles’ running back depth is poor behind Sanders. They do have Boston Scott and Kenny Gainwell. They have combined for 39 runs for 142 yards and three touchdowns this season. However, the pair has only five catches for 23 yards, while the Eagles’ running backs as a group have only 16 catches for 65 yards and no touchdowns. Meanwhile, fourth-stringer Trey Sermon appears to be more of a Scott substitute than a true No. 2 running back.
They’re solid on the ground but not as versatile as some of the elite backfields in the NFL. This leaves the Eagles in need of a pass-catching back who can help, especially on third down.
Enter Cleveland Browns RB Kareem Hunt, who is in the final year of his contract. He has been linked to Philadelphia since the summer, and the 27-year-old wants a new deal more than a bigger role. So far, Hunt has had 66 carries for 263 yards and three touchdowns in seven games this season. He has split carries with the outstanding Nick Chubb.
“I think Kareem Hunt to them [Eagles] is very realistic.”
(edit via @fisherkdesigns) pic.twitter.com/d9794m817l
— Word On The Birds (@WordOnTheBirds) October 27, 2022
The Eagles don’t have a fourth-round pick in 2023 to offer Brown. However, they might entice him with a third or fourth-round pick in 2024 in addition to a second-rounder next year. Yes, that might be an overpay, but again, Hunt is at least a solid RB2 and a potential RB1. Of course, this also means the Eagles may eventually have to decide whether to sign him or Sanders this summer.
Let’s put that aside for now, though. consider how Hunt’s pass-catching abilities would be extremely valuable for Philly. Imagine him filling in for Sanders in a few series. He has only had 10 touches in the previous two weeks and is poised for a huge role, depending on the situation.
The Eagles, however, should expect competition for Hunt, which means putting two picks on the table may not be an overpay after all. Keep in mind, though, that going for a Super Bowl victory entails taking chances. This one may be worth it.
Imagine how much more dangerous the Eagles’ offense would be with a real dual-threat running back in the backfield alongside Jalen Hurts. Hunt would also excel in Nick Sirianni’s RPO-based scheme. While Sanders leads all Eagles running backs in catches with 11 through six games, Hunt’s output would be substantially higher. That would be a very dangerous duo.
Acquiring Hunt would also send a very strong message to the Eagles fans. It also indicates that Roseman wishes to make one of their strengths even stronger. Philadelphia presently has the league’s sixth-best running attack, averaging 156.0 yards per game. Hunt would raise the bar even more. Make the strong stronger. Make the rich richer.
They are aiming for no less than the Super Bowl, after all.