Pederson Calls Jordan Howard Trade Rumor ‘False’
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The unintended consequence of checking in on everyone in the NFL is the messiness it can create when how the sausage gets made is revealed.
According to Albert Breer of The MMQB.com, the Eagles offered the Los Angeles Chargers Jordan Howard and a swap of mid-round picks for Melvin Gordon, with the Chargers also eating some of Gordon's salary. In other words, not a serious offer but a typical Howie Roseman move which is why you always hear the Eagles name in these rumors.
"Anyone who is available at any level whether they’re on the waiver wire or whether they’re available via trade, I promise we look into," Roseman said back on cutdown day.
The bigger part of that story is that there may be some smoke to the fire of the Eagles believing rookie Miles Sanders can handle a large role early in the season, something bolstered by the media relations department moving Sanders away from kick returns and replacing him with Corey Clement as the KR1 on the unofficial depth chart, a move later confirmed by Clement..
Meanwhile, Howard is still here, meaning Doug Pederson had to address the trade rumor with the veteran. The Eagles head coach called the report "false."
“We feel great about Jordan,” Pederson said Friday before practice at the NovaCare Complex. “It’s why we brought him here. We actually went to Jordan when the report came out, we went right to him and said: Listen, you’re here. The report’s false. It’s not coming from us. So just wanted to reassure him that this is the reason why you’re here, to help us win games.”
That said, Sanders, the rookie second-round pick, has clearly been gaining ground in recent weeks. The committee approach isn't changing, though, and neither is Darren Sproles' role as the third-down back.
Howard was extremely productive during his first three NFL seasons in Chicago but was peddled to Philadelphia due to a limited skill set which does not really feature explosive big-play ability or the top-tier receiving skills.
If Sanders can handle the pass-protection aspect of the position and quickly grasp what he needs to do as an outlet for Carson Wentz, the big-bodied Howard will turn from feature back to complement and short-yardage specialist.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen