Jay Ajayi Continues Preparation for Contract Year
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - It's a contract year for Jay Ajayi and the veteran running back has made a change in representation, moving on from Select Sports Group and taking on a more high-profile advocate in Drew Rosenhaus.
Rosenhaus, who had deep roots in South Florida, welcomed Ajayi to the Rosenhaus Sports family on Twitter Thursday morning.
Ajayi, of course, was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the fifth round of the 2015 draft and was traded to the Eagles at the deadline last season for a 2018 fourth-rounder. He developed into a Pro Bowl selection with the Dolphins after a 1,272-yard year in 2016 but was off to a poor start last season when Adam Gase pulled the plug in an effort to shake up his locker room.
He rebounded to average an impressive 5.8 yards-per-carry over seven games in Philadelphia and was a key cog in the RB-by-committee setup the Eagles rode to a Super Bowl LII championship.
Ajayi joins a number of other Eagles who are represented by Rosenhaus including linebacker Nigel Bradham, who just re-signed this offseason, as well as injured defensive tackle Tim Jernigan and former SEC stalwarts Derek Barnett and Jalen Mills.
With LeGarrette Blount signing in Detriot during free agency, Ajayi is expected to be the lead back in Philadelphia's committee this season with Corey Clement and Darren Sproles mixing in from there.
“[Ajayi} came in last year and obviously proved to us that he can handle it,” coach Doug Pederson explained during minicamp. “He’s definitely going into camp as the No. 1 guy."
Pederson also lauded the Boise State product for the shape he arrived in during the spring, something related to Ajayi's off-the-field behavior. The London native hired a personal chef and also brought his own trainer with him to Philadelphia.
On the final year of his rookie deal signed with Miami, Ajayi is set to make just under $2 million this season. Complicating matters on a potential extension are a number of issues, including a degenerative knee condition, the Eagles' salary cap problems as a whole, and the devaluation of the position league-wide.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen