Why didn’t the Philadelphia Eagles trade for Carlos Hyde?

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

With a glaring need at running back and a pair of 2019 fifth round picks, why didn’t the Philadelphia Eagles make a trade for Carlos Hyde?

In case you haven’t heard, the Philadelphia Eagles need a running back.

Whether you’ve read our trade deadline primer highlighting a score of potential options, or individual breakdowns on players like Le’Veon Bell or Charcandrick West it’s clear the Birds need to add a fresh (or not so fresh) face to Duce Staley‘s running backs room if they are going to average more than 110.3 rushing yards a game.

After finishing out the 2017 season with the league’s third-best rushing assault, 14th just isn’t good enough to return the team to the Super Bowl.

More from Philadelphia Eagles

So, when the news broke that the Cleveland Browns had agreed to trade Carlos Hyde to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a fifth-round pick, I’m sure it turned my a head in the Delaware Valley.

A former Ohio State star, Hyde has been an excellent between-the-tackles runner over his first five years in the league, averaging over 900 yards over the last two years over his final two seasons in San Francisco.

And now, he’s a member of the Jaguars, where he will split snaps with Leonard Fournette whenever he finally gets healthy.

But why?

Sure, the Jaguars could use Hyde in the short-term, especially for the low, low price of a fifth-round pick, but couldn’t the same be said for the Eagles, maybe even more so?

Sure, but there’s a catch.

While adding Hyde in a vacuum certainly would have made Philly better almost immediately, it’s the contract he signed back in March that likely kept Howie Roseman away from any serious trade conversations.

The (I’m sure) proud owner of a three-year, $15 million deal courtesy of Browns’ GM John Dorsey, Hyde is going to be owed $5 million over each of the next two seasons, with as many much as $11.5 million of that total potentially guaranteed.

For a team like the Eagles, who will soon have to pay the likes of Carson Wentz, Ronald Darby, Jordan Hicks, and whomever they decide to be their next lead back (Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, a free agent) over the next few seasons, it would be pretty hard to justify giving up a future, cost-controlled asset, even a fifth-rounder, for a rotational running back with a noticeable price tag.

$5 million may be a bit below average for a starting NFL running back, but it would be a poor use of the Eagles’ cap room when you consider Hyde’s scheme fit with the team on the field.

Much like the team’s opening day starter Jay Ajayi, Hyde is a slow, hard-nosed rusher who can pick up four yards in a cloud of dust between the tackles, but struggles to pick up 20-plus runs on the outside. While this similarity would allow Hyde to shuffle right into the starting lineup with relative ease, it would also provide Philly with yet another one-dimensional runner.

Whether it be Shady, Bell, a 2019 free agent, or even a high draft pick like Stanford‘s Bryce Love, to truly unlock Doug Pederson‘s offensive potential, the team needs to invest in a player who can catch the ball, just as well as he runs the ball, to make the RPO all the more lethal.

Hyde is on pace for 18 catches this season, and averaging only 3.4 yards per carrying.

Next. Jalen Mills is a great, but flawed outside cornerback. dark

So while Carlos Hyde would have served as a solid short-term band-aid to help fix the Philadelphia Eagles offensive issues, Howie Roseman was wise to save his draft picks, and future cap space, for a player who fits the team’s scheme better down the road.