<![CDATA[It is no secret that the Philadelphia Eagles will address the running back position this offseason. With the impending release of Ryan Mathews, the only other running backs on the Eagles' roster are Wendell Smallwood, Darren Sproles, and Kenjon Barner.
However, the question that will need to be answered is who becomes the Eagles' new lead back? Will it be a rookie or veteran? To answer those questions, enter potential candidate Jamaal Charles.
On Wednesday afternoon at the NFL Combine, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was asked about Charles, who released was earlier this week by the Kansas City Chiefs and his potential fit in the Eagles’ offense.
“I’ve got history with him in Kansas City for three years. I think he’s a tremendous running back, and it’s something that we’ll evaluate now,” Pederson said. “We’ll grade him just like we do every free agent and every person that’s released and see where he could fit into our offense.
Without question, Charles was a tremendous running back until he suffered back-to-back knee injuries over the last two seasons. Before suffering those knee injuries, he was considered by many as a top-five running back in the league.
In 2014, Charles had 1,033 yards on 206 carries and nine touchdowns. He also had 40 receptions for 291 yards and five touchdowns.
He was the ultimate playmaker in the backfield, but not anymore as he is 30-years old and coming off of surgery for a meniscus tear. Charles did have a dominant three season stretch between 2012-2014, where he had over 1,000 rushing yards.
Nevertheless, with all those things being known, it would be a mistake for the Eagles to sign Charles. Let’s be honest, Charles is damaged goods. He is not the running back that he was in 2012, where he had 1,509 rushing yards.
He is a shell of himself. If the Eagles were to take a chance on Charles, they would be better off keeping Mathews, who is injury prone himself. Unlike Charles, Mathews has not had any debilitating knee injuries.
For a running back, once your knees go, it is only a matter of time that the tires will blowout completely.
The Eagles, instead, need to draft a running back, who they can pair with Smallwood and Sproles in their running back by committee. Luckily for them, they have a lot of options and cannot go wrong with their selection given this year’s strong draft class.
That should be the plan for the Eagles: Stay away from Charles and other veteran running backs and draft a running back, who does not have a ton of miles on their body.]]>