April 21, 2024

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Howie Roseman Explains Why He Finally Spent Big Money on Running – NBC Sports Philadelphia

Howie Roseman Explains Why He Finally Spent Big Money on Running – NBC Sports Philadelphia

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Eagles surprised everyone this offseason when they signed a free agent running back to the highest deal on the market.

And at the NFL's annual league meetings in Orlando, general manager Howie Roseman was finally able to explain why he signed Saquon Barkley.

“I think it's difficult for us to find quality players in any position,” Roseman said. “We think Saquon is a special player and we think he's a special person. And when you try to find these guys, they're hard to find, especially on the open market.

“Then you get into the dynamic of…has the pendulum swung yet at that position? Hopefully the guy touches the ball 300 times a year. There's not a lot of other players that touch the ball that many times and have that impact.”

The running back position has been devalued on the open market in the NFL for several years and the Eagles have been at the forefront of that. But if they were looking for a way to add a player with difference-making offensive skills, they might have done so by signing Barkley to a three-year, $37.75 million deal.

Instead of paying DeAndre Swift or Tony Pollard around $8 million per season, the Eagles opted to go to the top of the market with Barkley, who is undoubtedly a special player when healthy.

Of course, this deal comes with some inherent risks. Barkley isn't that old, but at 27 he has the fifth-most offensive tackles in the NFL over the past three seasons.

The Eagles have thought about all of that.

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“Well, he's not 30 or 31. He'll be 27 this season,” Roseman said. “Obviously we looked at the workload. I think that's a fair point. … But the player trains unbelievably and he's a freak. We see that in his testing numbers and his body, you see it in his GPS speed. And so we We believe in the player and we think that based on the resources and where you can put the resources and based on the resources that amount goes into the league, this made a lot of sense for us.

When he's at his best, Barkley is a fantastic player. There's a reason he was the No. 2 pick in the 2018 class and his two Pro Bowl seasons were elite. He is also a very good skilled player. He's the type of linebacker who can rebound but also hit and run on defensive players. The Eagles would welcome that style in 2024. He can also pass protection and line up anywhere as a receiver.

It may be unfair to compare this signing to the 49ers' acquisition of Christian McCaffrey, but this move to add an elite backfield has completely changed the dynamic of San Francisco's offense. The Eagles must hope for a similar result from Barkley.

Roseman on Monday disputed the narrative that the Eagles didn't pay big for the running back. There are two examples? The contract was signed by Brian Westbrook before Roseman became GM and an extension for LeSean McCoy in the 2012 season.

So…the best examples Roseman could come up with were more than a decade ago and were contracts for local talent. This is a clear departure from the past decade. Roseman clearly thinks Barkley deserves it.

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We'll soon find out if he's right.

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