Philadelphia Eagles: Run with the Josh Jacobs rumors

(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

Sometimes you see a trade rumor online and immediately write it off as hearsay. It seems too good, the conditions are rather one-sided, and ultimately it means nothing more than a good laugh.

Naturally, when MIFootball tweeted out that none other than the Philadelphia Eagles were one of the teams who talked to the Las Vegas Raiders about trading for Josh Jacobs, it elicited such a reaction. The comments section flamed the account, the QTs were even worse, and many a fan wrote it off as a result.

… and yet, when Josh Jacobs played in the Hall of Fame game against Doug Pederson and the Jacksonville Jaguars, it drew a much stronger reaction across the football world. While new head coach Josh McDaniels tried to write it off, telling Kevin Patra of that it’s “always good for backs to carry the ball in the preseason,” he was much more complimentary of the team’s rookie fourth-round pick out of Georgia, Zamir White, who earned the following praise for his efforts and versatility in the preseason opener via the team’s official website.

"“He did that in Georgia. He ran hard with the ball in his hands and is tough to tackle. He finishes runs the right way, brings a physical element to the game and the team. It was a good opportunity for him to get in there and do that at our level and play in the kicking game some. Like I said, there’s going to be some things that we have to tweak and clean up, but I thought for him to get out there and establish — that’s the style of runner he was at Georgia, and then to see him do it here was good.”"

That’s… certainly not nothing, as was the decision to decline his fifth-year option back in April, as also detailed by the team’s official website. Could this actually happen? Could the Raiders really trade the 2019 Rookie of the Year and the 2020 Pro Bowler advertising a single, slightly down year?

Well, it happened before with the Chicago Bears, and that turned our perry good for the Philadelphia Eagles. If such an opportunity presents itself yet again, maybe Howie Roseman will be similarly bullish on the prospects of a trade.

The Philadelphia Eagles wouldn’t have to look hard for a Josh Jacobs template.

So, for the sake of argument, let’s say the Philadelphia Eagles do trade for Josh Jacobs. How would he fit into the team’s offense? Like would he be used as a trucking, early-downs-only sort of performer, or would he fill a more dynamic role?

Well, fans need not look much further than how Doug Pederson and eventually Nick Sirianni used Jordan Howard in their respective Eagles’ offense. Like Howard, Jacobs is a big dynamic back who can attack an offense inside and out, make quick decisions, and ultimately pick up positive yards before being tackled to the ground.

According to Pro Football Focus, Jacobs ranked fourth on the Raiders in total offensive rating, fourth in pass blocking, and first overall in rushing, which probably shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise but is noteworthy nonetheless. While some have questioned Jacobs’ longevity in the NFL based on his incredibly heavy workload under Jon Gruden and others questioned his overall fit in Josh McDaniels’ offense, calling Jacobs anything but a very good offensive player would be selling him sort.

Need proof? Just ask Jalen Hurts, who was in the same recruiting class as Jacobs at Alabama and spent their first three years together running a very good offense under the watchful eye of Nick Saban. After reuniting with another one of his collegiate buddies, DeVonta Smith, in 2021 and convincing Howie Roseman to trade for A.J. Brown back in April, the prospects of bringing another member of the extended Hurts universe to South Philly isn’t the worst idea imaginable.

Really, the only player who wouldn’t benefit from the addition of Jacobs would be Miles Sanders, but considering the duo are both about to enter contract years, having a good old-fashioned duel between the two backs with the winner earning a new deal could actually work out pretty darn well, especially since there is no rule against both backs getting new contracts either in Philadelphia or elsewhere.

Next. All signs point to Jalen Reagor making the roster. dark

Do the Philadelphia Eagles “need” Josh Jacobs? No, not really; they had the best rushing offense in the NFL last year, and other than swapping out Howard for Oklahoma UDFA Kennedy Brooks, not much has changed. Still, if they want to secure a serious upgrade on a discount and improve Jalen Hurts’ pass protection with a familiar face, they could do a whole heck of a lot worse than his college teammates, even if his contract expires at the end of the season. If Howie Roseman could get a deal done for something like a conditional fourth-round pick, he should do so without hesitation.