LATEST NEWS : Former GM Reveals Hidden Benefit of Eagles’ Saquon Barkley Signing

The Philadelphia Eagles are betting big that Saquon Barkley will improve an ineffective running game and fill a void for a squad that lost five of its final six games to finish a disastrous 2023 season.

Barkley, the former No. 2 overall choice in the 2018 NFL Draft, comes to Philadelphia with a career 4.3 yards per rush average, 47 total touchdowns, and 7,311 yards from scrimmage in 74 games with the New York Giants.
However, as productive as Barkley is on the ground and as a receiver out of the backfield, former NFL general manager Mike Tannenbaum believes Barkley has the potential to have a huge impact not only on the Eagles’ run game performance but also on quarterback Jalen Hurts.

“Barkley will give Jalen Hurts a much better chance of getting through the season healthy,” says Tannenbaum for ESPN, ranking Barkley’s signing as the most significant in the league. “Over the last three seasons, Hurts has carried the ball 491 times, the most by any quarterback.

“Those stats took a toll, and he didn’t look the same by the end of last season. With a truly great runner in the backfield, there will be less pressure on Hurts to run, which might keep him healthy down the stretch.

Saquon Barkley regrets how he handled Giants departure: 'I could've given a  proper goodbye' | Fox News

Jalen Hurts Looking to Rebound in 2024.
Hurts rose to the top of the MVP race during the 2022 season, but he never really got going in 2023.

Hurts threw only five touchdowns and five interceptions in the remaining six games of the 2023 season, and he was restricted to 250 passing yards and one score in a landslide 32-9 NFC Wild Card loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Barkley’s addition to the Eagles’ backfield provides a safety valve for Hurts in the receiving game, but Philadelphia also has a real bellcow at running back for the first time since Nick Sirianni took over.

Eagles tampering allegations, explained: How James Franklin's comments  created questions about Saquon Barkley's contract | Sporting News Australia

As Pro Football Focus points out, Barkley averaged 2.91 yards after contact last season but perhaps more importantly for the Eagles’, posted a 76.6 pass-blocking grade which should give Hurts more time in the pocket and limit some of the physical punishment he takes in addition to the hits sustained on the run.
James Franklin Explains Potential ‘Tampering’ Comments
Barkley, his college coach and mentor James Franklin, and the Eagles found themselves embroiled in an NFL maelstrom, with suspicions that general manager Howie Roseman talked with the star running back prior to free agency, which would have constituted tampering.

Following Penn State’s spring practice on March 19, Franklin addressed the claims.

“I had a 10-minute conversation with Saquon, and I just assumed and connected dots that weren’t there,” Franklin was quoted as saying by reporters. “All those conversations went through his agent.”

Franklin’s initial comments, which raised eyebrows, came after Barkley signed his $37.75 million contract.
“But for him now to come back and be able to play within the state, in Philadelphia,” Franklin said during a news conference. “(Barkley) said that was one of the first things that Howie said to him on the phone as part of his sales pitch to him was not only the Philadelphia Eagles and that, but obviously the connection with Penn State and the fan bases as well.”

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