Philadelphia Eagles: Does Boston Scott have a place in Philly’s future?

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Boston Scott is an elite dude.

He’s a funny, fun-loving ball of energy who is seemingly always looking to lighten things up in the middle of a hot and heavy summer.

Over the course of training camp, Scott played the role of “bodyguard” for a number of his teammates, heckled others while they were at the mic, and became a fast favorite of everyone from the New coaching staff to teammates like Kenneth Gainwell and Milton Williams, the latter of whom is also an alumni of LA Tech.

Surely every general manager would love to have a locker room filled with dozens of Boston Scotts, but on the field, where does the fourth-year running back fit into the Philadelphia Eagles’ plans? Is he an untouchable asset that only the grandest of offers could pry away, a borderline player who could end up looking for work elsewhere next fall, or does the noted Giant Killer fall somewhere in between the two?

Does Boston Scott have a long-term future with the Philadelphia Eagles?

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When news broke that Justice Hill went down with a season-ending ACL injury mere days after his fellow running back J.K. Dobbins suffered his own season-ending ACL injury, it sent the Baltimore Ravens running backs corps into crisis.

With only two other running backs – Gus Edward and Ty’Son Williams – on the team’s initial 53 man roster, the Ebony Birds started reaching out far and wide to fill out their depth chart.

They tried out ex-Atlanta Falcon Devonta Freeman, long-time division rival LeVeon Bell, and even ex-Philadelphia Eagles rusher Elijah Holyfield before ultimately signing 2018 sixth-round pick Trenton Cannon to their active roster and the rapper occasionally known as “Juice” to their practice squad for a low-risk tryout.

Why, you may ask, is this particularly relevant to fans in Philly? Well, because the Ravens’ plight got me thinking: What if Baltimore GM Eric DeCosta called up Howie Roseman to inquire about Boston Scott over signing Cannon and Bell? Would he have been met with laughter and a dial tone, or would there have been a deal to be had for the former LA Tech Bulldog?

Well, first and foremost, the caveat most relevant to this particular topic has to be the price. If the Ravens called offering a first-rounder for Scott’s services – or any running back for that matter – he’s gone 100 times out of 100, and if the offer is only a seventh, they likely get rebuffed just as fast. In a league with a salary cap, almost every player is attainable for the right price, and almost no player is truly untouchable.

With that out of the way, the second aspect of a hypothetical trade centered around Scott has to do with his long-term future with the team. That, my friends, is a much more interesting conversation and one worthy of pondering for a few minutes.

On one hand, Scott is a really good change-of-pace rusher. He’s notorious for his ability to put up monster games versus teams based in New York/New Jersey, a deceptively powerful rusher with unconventional size, and a good pass catcher situationally, but through his first 29 games of regular-season action, Scott has only averaged 35.6 all-purpose offensive yards per game – 21.3 on the ground and 14.3 as a receiver – and has been just an average kick returner on 42 attempts.

Could Scott take on a more expansive role under Nick Sirianni? Sure, many a fan hopes to see Scott take on a Nyheim Hines-esque role for the Eagles this fall, but is that realistic? I mean, Kenneth Gainwell has unquestionably proven himself to be the team’s best receiving back through the preseason, and his ability to move the ball on the ground could surely secure him a 1b role behind Miles Sanders this fall.

Can Scott and Gainwell coexist in the same backfield, or was the latter explicitly drafted to replace the former long-term?

Considering Scott will hit restricted free agency upon season’s end, 2021 may ultimately serve as a 17 game test case for his long-term future with the team.

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Ultimately, barring a total disaster, a season-ending injury, or an absolutely crazy trade offer, Boston Scott is going to be a member of the Philadelphia Eagles this season. He’ll be active on gameday, play on both offense and special teams, and continue to provide levity in a sport that at times takes itself far too seriously. But will this ultimately serve as Scott’s swansong in the City of Brotherly Love, or will he continue to extend the legacy of short RBs like Darren Sproles at Lincoln Financial Field well into the 2020s? That, my friends, is going to be a question worth monitoring all season long.