The Philadelphia Eagles‘ offense is known for huge, highly explosive plays. Chip Kelly‘s offense is one that featured the NFL‘s leading rusher, and was ranked second in the NFL in yards last year. This offseason, the Eagles added even more firepower to this attack by trading for running back Darren Sproles for just a fifth-round pick. An explosive runner and a home run threat, Sproles is just another dynamic piece to add to the Eagles’ offense.
It’s not just what he brings to the Eagles’ rushing attack, but it’s also what may leave Philadelphia’s backfield as well. Sproles arrival could mean RB Bryce Brown‘s days as an Eagle are coming to an end.
Brown has been a productive second-string RB for the Eagles for the last two seasons. He filled in nicely in 2012 when LeSean McCoy went down with an injury. In 2012, Brown rushed for 564 yards and four touchdowns, averaging just less than five yards per carry. He did most of his work in the final four games of the 2012 campaign.
He was poised to become the Eagles’ backup running back for many seasons to come. However, concerns with ball handling raised eyebrows in Philadelphia, as he lost three out of his four fumbles in 2012.
In 2013, Brown was supposed to flourish even as a backup in Kelly’s system. However, he saw just the opposite in his second season. He saw his carries decrease, and he only found the end zone twice in 2013. Even as a backup running back in Kelly’s offense, Brown seemed to even lose some of his playing time to third-string runner Chris Polk.
Toward the end of the year, whenever the Eagles needed a third-down back, it seemed like Polk got more opportunities than Brown did. Whether it is not fitting in Kelly’s style of offense, or whether there were other players more suited for the role, Brown’s time in Philadelphia may have been coming to an end sooner than we thought.
With the Sproles trade, Brown will see his playing time dwindle even more. He’s not going to want to play in an offense where he hardly sees any time on the field. Brown, if well coached, has the potential to still be a productive RB in this league. However, he is not going to get many chances in Philadelphia with the way the roster is right now.
Although Kelly likes having a lot of RBs on the roster, trading for Sproles certainly isn’t a good thing for Brown. The Eagles could be better off without him as they would free up some space to sign more potential free agents. The next run Brown could make may be away from Philadelphia in another uniform. With Sproles’ arrival, it wouldn’t be shocking if the Eagles trade Brown or let him leave in free agency.