Eagles Backfield Has Plenty of Depth
Running back was the last position people expected the Eagles to address this offseason yet that was where one position Philadelphia addressed in free agency, bringing in Felix Jones over from the Dallas Cowboys
Consider that just the latest surprise at the top of the Eagles' wish list, and one more piece of evidence about how much new head coach Chip Kelly might value running backs as he not only signed Jones,they also picked-up undrafted free agent Matt Tucker this year offseason to add depth behind LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown and Chris Polk.
Now, Philadelphia has so much depth at running back that the biggest question is how many will the team will choose to keep.
Locks to make the roster: McCoy and Brown.
McCoy has rushed for 3,229 yards since 2010 and has scored 34 touchdowns, which ranks him fourth in the NFL in touchdowns scored.. He is entering the second year of a six-year contract and just turned 24.
Brown had a year to get his feet wet as a rookie last season as he took over for an injured McCoy after not really playing a lot of college football. He ended the season rushing for 564 yards and four touchdowns, gaining 4.9 yards per carry. Brown could gain carries as the season goes on to try and keep McCoy fresh and give the Eagles a different look in the backfield.
Just where Jones will fit in to the backfield rotation remains to be seen. Kelly is hoping his "Fragile Felix" moniker won't follow him to Philadelphia. 2012 was the least productive of his professional career, and injuries have been an issue with him since he entered the league.
In the Mix: Felix Jones, Chris Polk, Matt Tucker.
When Philadelphia added Jones in free agency, it could have been a sign that the team was looking for an upgrade in the return game. Jones has totaled 1,534 yards and one touchdown as a kick returner while playing five seasons in Dallas, he turned 26 in May and he's scheduled to make $780,000 million in 2013 on a one-year flier. Could Jones edge out Polk and win a roster spot based on his kick returning ability?
Second-year pro Chris Polk says he is "excited" about playing in Chip Kelly's system. The Eagles signed Polk as a rookie free agent following the 2012 NFL Draft but he saw no action last season. Thought of as a bruising back, Polk is dropping weight in order to play in Kelly's offense.
The Eagles very well could keep five running backs to start the season. With McCoy, Brown, Polk making the team as running backs, Jones as a return man (over a wide-out or corner) and if they chose to keep a fullback; Emil Igwenagu could make the team.
Matt Turner, who's in a rookie free agent out of TCU, is the only other running back currently on the roster, giving you an idea of just how set the depth is in Philadelphia's backfield.