Earlier today, Adam Schefter of ESPN tweeted that teams had approached the Chicago Bears regarding Jordan Howard. By the way Schefter framed it, it looks like the Bears are receptive, as the tweet states that discussions are “ongoing”.
As a Bears fan, this pains me. Howard has been fun to watch and has given his all while donning the Blue and Orange. I’ll never forget the way he produced against stacked fronts during the miserable John Fox era. They essentially ran Howard into the ground with their predictable (run-run-pass) play calling. As I like to say, sad foo!
While the Bears offense took a huge step forward with the hiring of coach Matt Nagy, it was evident from day one that Howard’s style was not a great fit for the offense. Given his production last season, his lack of receiving skills, and the emergence of Tarik Cohen, it is clear that the Bears are going to invest in another RB.
Howard is set to make $2.025 million in 2019. It is the final year of the rookie deal he signed after being drafted in the fifth round of the 2016. With the Bears lacking draft capital due to the Khalil Mack trade, dealing Howard makes sense. And, even if Howard wasn’t moved this season, I had pegged the Bears to grab a RB with one of their first two picks in Rounds 3 or 4.
While Le'Veon Bell is currently the best RB available on the free agent market, the cupboard is bare after him. In fact, after looking at who would be left on the market once Bell is signed, Howard would be the next best option as he’s proven to be more reliable than the Falcon’s Tevin Coleman. Of course, this also depends on what the team needs to give up to acquire him, but I am talking strictly from a durability and performance standpoint.
So, with all that being said, here are five teams that would be perfect landing spots for Howard:
The Jets running game last year was composed of Isaiah Crowell, Elijah McGuire, and Bilal Powell. Nothing special there, and Powell and McGuire have struggled to say healthy. If the Jets want to make a move up the standings next season, pairing a strong running back that has playoff experience with their franchise QB in Sam Darnold seems like a good start.
While Gus Edwards averaged 5.2 yards a carry for the Ravens last season, he does not seem like he is capable of handling a full workload. The Ravens have had a different leading rusher each of the last four seasons, but dealing for Howard would put an end to that and give them stability at the position. The ability to rely on Howard’s downhill running, experience, and blocking, would also help protect their young QB in Lamar Jackson.