Eagles and Superstar RB Have 'Mutual Interest' Heading Into Free Agency

Dec 25, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni walks
Dec 25, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni walks / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

This is a tricky offseason for the Philadelphia Eagles. On paper, an 11-6 season in 2023 after winning the NFC in 2022 would make it seem like the franchise is in a great spot. But the 2024 season is going to be a tipping point — either the Eagles will bounce back and remain elite or this will be the start of a downward slide.

With so much on the line, free agency will be more important than ever. And before things open up on the 11th, there is some very good news popping up around one of the best players on the market.

Eagles Rumors: "Mutual Interest" Between Philly and Saquon Barkley

The Eagles are rumored to have interest in signing Saquon Barkley, and according to Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post, that interest is mutual. Saquon may be looking to stay in the NFC and be the answer to how Philly will replace D'Andre Swift.

This would obviously be a huge splash, and a huge splash is exactly what the Eagles need right now.

Despite their 25 wins over the last two regular seasons, the Eagles are +135 underdogs to win the NFC East next season. The Cowboys are favored to repeat at division champs, and Philly needs to do something to shake things up.

Barkley is a perfect fit in the backfield because he does all the things D'Andre Swift does, just better. Swift was able to take over as a workhorse at times when needed, and he's also an every-down type back and saw 49 targets in the passing game.

Saquon has hit the 18-plus carry mark 27 times in his NFL career, averaging 98.2 yards per game in those contests. He's also eclipsed 50 receiving yards on 13 occasions, with 21 5-plus reception games to his name.

His production dropped off last year, but considering the state of the Giants' offense around him, I wouldn't be so quick to assign blame to him. His 3.9 yards per carry look bad in a vacuum, but when you consider the numbers from the other Giants' RBs (2.8 yards per carry for Eric Gray, 2.7 for Matt Breida, 2.1 for Gary Brightwell), Barkley's mark starts to look a lot more impressive.

Pro Football Focus had the Giants' offensive line as the No. 30 run blocking unit in the NFL last year, while the Eagles ranked No. 3. Losing Jason Kelce will hurt that rating, for sure, but there's no reason to be worried about whether Barkley could return to form rushing behind this offensive line.

The big knock is a potential contract. Giving a big contract to a free-agent running back has almost never worked out for any team in the last decade or so. That's why this "mutual interest" is so important.

Saquon made it clear that he had no interest in taking a discount to play for the Giants, but if the Eagles are a destination he specifically wants to land in, he could very well take a more team-friendly deal. And it wouldn't just be a move of generosity either.

Hitting free agency off a down year, the big-money move for Barkley could very well be to sign a discounted one-year deal with an offense that can let him showcase he's still elite (like Philly's) so that he can cash in for a more expensive long-term contract next offseason.

This fit makes a ton of sense for both sides.

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