Corey Clemens and Wendell Smallwood were obviously not enough.
Even though the Eagles are among the top NFL teams in rushing — and boast the most attempts on the ground in football, Howie Roseman and his front office squad decided to improve the team Tuesday ahead of the NFL’s trade deadline.
So when ESPN’s Adam Schefter announced the team had reached a deal with the Dolphins, swapping a fourth round pick for Miami’s top running back Jay Ajayi, it made sence. The Eagles want to have the BEST running game, not one of the best.
Philly acquires Ajayi at the tail end of one of the more exciting trade deadlines in recent memory. According to Schefter, it has been the most active deadline ever — in the mold of MLB or NBA deadline days. A top offensive tackle, Duane Brown, already went from Houston to Seattle and New Engand’s highly-touted back up quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has been traded to the 49ers.
Ajayi is 24-years-old and in his third NFL season. Last year, the back ran for 1,272 yards and eight touchdowns. So far in 2017 he has 465 yards on 138 carries and no scores.
He is still on the third year of his rookie deal, making just $615,000 in 2017 and signed through 2018.
The biggest impact, fantasy-wise, is on LeGarrette Blount, who now looks like he will become a second option and short-yardage play, or goalline option now and Ajaji will be the true featured back.
Monday, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson spoke about the potential of a big move on deadline day.
“It would have to be a dynamic fit,” the coach said. “It would have to be somebody that could help the team, and it would have to be such a fit that you don’t disrupt the locker room and where the guys are. Howie and his team – Joe [Vice President of Player Personnel Joe Douglas] and the guys — they’re constantly, every single week, they’re looking at players. But yet it’s got to be just the right fit for the Philadelphia Eagles.”
It looks like in Ajayi, they have a pretty good fit.