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Duke Johnson should be trade target for Eagles

Eliot Shorr-Parks
February 11, 2019 - 2:40 pm

Ever since he was released by the Kansas City Chiefs midway through last season, Eagles fans have debated and wondered if their team would take a chance on signing running back Kareem Hunt. 

The mystery ended on Monday when the Cleveland Browns signed Hunt — but it might have put a new running back into the market for the Eagles to consider.

With the signing of Hunt, the Browns now have Hunt, Nick Chubb and Duke Johnson in the backfield. It is possible the Browns keep all three, considering Hunt might be facing a suspension from the NFL, but it is also possible they would be opening to trading their No. 3 back, Johnson. 

If they are, the Eagles would be wise to give them a call. 

Johnson has been an extremely productive and versatile running back since entering the NFL four seasons ago. Through his first four years in the NFL, Johnson has 534 total touches for 3,456 yards and 13 touchdowns. His best season in the NFL came in 2017, when he totaled 1,041 yards on 156 touches and seven touchdowns. 

What would likely make Johnson an attractive player for the Eagles is his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Johnson is averaging 9.2 yards on 235 catches in his career, with a catch of a least 30 yards in each of his four seasons. Head coach Doug Pederson loves to throw the ball to his running backs, but without a stellar option out of the backfield last season, his ability to do so was extremely hampered. 

The Eagles are expected to address their running back situation this offseason, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they signed one in free agency and drafted one, considering both Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles likely won’t be back. Johnson might not be the No. 1, do-it-all running back the Eagles need, but he would be an excellent No. 2 piece for a team that loves to rotate their backs. 

With as many as nine picks in the 2019 NFL Draft at their disposal one compensatory picks are handed out, the Eagles definitely have the ammunition to go get Johnson if the Browns to indeed make him available. 

You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at [email protected]!

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