Jordan Howard and the Bears Officially Split
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) April 1, 2019
Today marks a bittersweet ending for the Jordan Howard era in Chicago. The former fifth-round steal out of Indiana was officially introduced as an Eagle this afternoon. The Bears fanbase is still torn by the recent trade and expect similar production from his eventual replacement. Chicago's former lead back joins former teammates Alshon Jeffery and Deionde Hall in Philadelphia.
The soft-spoken Howard immediately offered his gratitude towards the Eagles Organization for bringing him on-board. He later admitted never having much success against his new team due to its menacing defensive line. The thought of not playing against his new teammates is a good thing. The classy Howard offered nothing but positive remarks regarding his former team.
When asked if he was surprised by the trade he said,
"It wasn't really a surprise, I knew something was going to happen. I just didn't know when. I was just finally relieved because I was getting tired of everybody hitting me up about 'Are you getting traded, how do you feel about this?' So I was definitely relieved."
He quickly made his presence known in the Windy City after taking over the starting job during his first season. He made a name for himself after gaining 1,313 yards, a franchise rookie rushing record. Only Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley have more rushing yards since 2016. Howard immediately became the most important offensive weapon under the archaic John Fox regime. But Fox was fired following the 2017 season and replaced with Matt Nagy.
Speculations immediately swirled around Howard's fit within Nagy's version of the West Coast offense. Although Howard was a proven backfield threat, his one-dimensional skill set was not a good fit in Chicago's upgraded offense. His gradual decline in overall performance, particularly last season, only enhanced speculation of a potential trade. Recently, the Bears signed former Seahawk Mike Davis as the new complement to Tarik Cohen. The message to the outside world became clear, "The Bears were moving on."
Howard now joins an Eagles offense that typically deploys running backs by committee. Howard stated he wasn't sure how he would be used but he excelled in short yardage and goal line situations throughout his career. Philadelphia's running back room will certainly be improved by the blue-collar hard-nosed back.
Ryan Pace and Coach Nagy have been doing extensive work with the 2019 prospective running back class this off-season. The Bears have the upcoming draft to continue to upgrade a formidable roster. Halas Hall deserves the benefit of the doubt for getting a small return for moving Howard. The extra draft capital should be a blessing in disguise.
Until then, thank you, Jordan Howard! JT out.