Tony Pollard? D'Andre Swift reunion? 6 NFL free agent RB targets for Philadelphia Eagles

Tony Pollard? D’Andre Swift reunion? 6 NFL free agent RB targets for Philadelphia Eagles

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The NFL free agent running back class for 2024 is loaded, and the Philadelphia Eagles should have plenty of options to fill spots on their depth chart.

The case for Tony Pollard as one of the NFL's best running backs in 2022 |  NFL News, Rankings and Statistics | PFF

General manager Howie Roseman doesn’t typically spend much money on running backs, similar to most teams across the NFL. But with the historic salary cap increase, maybe the Eagles will invest more in their backfield.

Here are six free-agent running backs the Eagles could target in NFL free agency.

1. Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys

There are plenty of big-name free-agent running backs – Derrick Henry, Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs and Austin Ekeler. Given Philadelphia’s previous history, it’s unlikely the Eagles try to sign one of the bigger names, barring a steep discount.

But one bigger name they could sign is Tony Pollard, who played with the Dallas Cowboys for the past five seasons.

Pollard wouldn’t break the bank for the Birds. Spotrac projects Pollard to earn a two-year, $13 million contract.

Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys

Pollard also has a connection with new Eagles offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who held the same position with Dallas from 2019-2022.

Pollard has put together back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons with 15 touchdowns on the ground. He’s also a threat in the passing game, catching 55 passes for 311 yards last season.

Last season, Pollard was the lead back in Dallas for the first time in his career, fully taking the reins from Ezekiel Elliott. He played the most snaps of his career (836) and posted his lowest yards per attempt (4.0).

Pollard can help the Birds. He’s explosive, dynamic and still young at 26 – he will be 27 by the time the season starts. The Eagles could be wise to pair him with another tailback in a committee if they decide to sign him in free agency.

2. D’Andre Swift, Philadelphia Eagles

D’Andre Swift, a St. Joseph’s Prep High School product and Philadelphia native, had his best season playing for the Eagles in 2023, despite the team struggling down the stretch.

Swift rushed for a career-high 1,049 yards and scored six total touchdowns. He also had 39 catches for 214 receiving yards.

As a result, Swift will likely have options in free agency, but the Eagles might be able to bring him back at the right price. Spotrac projects Swift to earn a four-year, $27 million contract.

Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

If that’s the case, the Eagles will probably head in another direction. The projected deal is similar to what Miles Sanders got from the Carolina Panthers last offseason.

Swift was non-committal at the end of the season when asked if he would return to play for the Eagles.

“We’ll see,” Swift said in January. “It was a blessing to play here this year. We didn’t finish how we wanted to, but we had a special group of guys. A lot of great leadership on the team. We just didn’t finish how we wanted to.”

3. Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings

After years of playing second fiddle to Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison got an opportunity to become the starter for the Minnesota Vikings in 2023.

Last season, Mattison had a career-high 700 rushing yards on 3.9 yards per carry and 30 catches that went for 192 yards and three touchdowns.

Chicago Bears v Minnesota Vikings

He began to lose playing time to rookie RB Ty Chandler toward the end of the season. The Vikings cut Mattison to begin their offseason, but he could be an option for the Eagles in a committee approach.

4. J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens

J.K. Dobbins had a lot of promise coming out of Ohio State University in the 2020 NFL draft, drafted 55 overall by the Baltimore Ravens. But now, he’s hitting the market as an unrestricted free agent.

Unfortunately, Dobbins hasn’t stayed healthy throughout his NFL career. He’s only played 24 games since 2020.

In Week 1 last year, Dobbins suffered a season-ending torn Achilles injury. He missed all of 2021 after tearing his ACL. He has never played a full season and has played more than 10 games just once – 15 games as a rookie.

Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens

But when he plays, he’s been productive. He averages 5.8 yards per carry in 24 career games for 1,347 yards and 12 TDs.

Dobbins could be a bargain if he can stay healthy. The Eagles haven’t been shy about signing RBs with an injury history.

Last season, the Eagles signed Rashaad Penny, who had plenty of medical concerns. Maybe the Birds sign Dobbins to a similar deal with incentives if he stays healthy?

Spotrac projects Dobbins to earn a two-year, $4.3 million contract.

5. Devin Singletary, Houston Texans

After spending his first four years with the Buffalo Bills, Devin Singletary eventually became the starting running back for the Houston Texans last season.

Singletary started the team’s final 10 games and rushed for 898 yards and four touchdowns. He’s also a receiving threat, recording 30 catches for 193 yards, which were the lowest totals of his career.

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens

The 26-year-old is projected to earn a three-year, $16 million contract in free agency, per Spotrac.

6. Zack Moss, Indianapolis Colts

Zack Moss, Singletary’s former teammate in Buffalo, was in 2023 when given the opportunity with the Indianapolis Colts.

With starter Jonathan Taylor dealing with injuries, Moss stepped up and had some monster games. He led the Colts in rushing and had two games where he ran for more than 100 yards, including once against the Tennessee Titans when he rushed for 165 yards and two TDs.

Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts

Moss finished the season with a career-high 794 rushing yards and five TDs in 14 games. He also caught 27 passes for 192 yards and two scores.

Moss, 26, is projected to get a two-year, $9.2 million contract, according to Spotrac.

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