It's been eight days since the Philadelphia Eagles season came to a heartbreaking end, as a pass slipped right through the hands of Alshon Jeffery, and into the welcoming arms of New Orleans Saints defender Marshon Lattimrore. It was an apropos way to end a season, in which the Birds saw a number of games slip right through their hands.
A tough way for the Eagles season to end, but this game brought a number of glaring weaknesses to light, that Philadelphia will need to address this spring. Clearly, the most talked about issue is what the situation entails at quarterback, the burning question -- Carson Wentz or Nick Foles? The most noticeable issue had to be the secondary, which the Saints greatly exposed in their divisional playoff game, as Josh Hawkins, signed to the Eagles' practice squad on 12/18, was eaten alive after the injury to Rasul Douglas. However, the biggest issue, that's seemingly gone unnoticed, has greatly altered the makeup of the Eagles' offense, and that has to be the position of running back.
If you watched the Eagles at all this season, you're clearly not surprised by their running game being labeled as a weakness. Over the course of eighteen games, the Eagles used a staggering different running backs, including four different starters. As a whole, the team averaged four yards per carry on the season, with three backs surpassing that individual marker. Josh Adams served as the team's leading rusher, with 511 yards on 120 carries, finding the end-zone three times. That being said, inconsistency served as the root of their problems, as they failed to surpass 100-yards in eight of their eighteen games.
With the contracts of Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles expiring this spring, many are left wondering how the Eagles will address their soon-to-be running back issues. Some point to the possibility of drafting their man, from the likes of Bryce Love, Bennie Snell, or David Montgomery. Others point towards the open market, and guys like Le'Veon Bell. Hell, there's even been speculation that Leonard Fournette could be had in a possible Nick Foles deal. One possible option though, that remains unaddressed, is the possibility of adding the controversial Kareem Hunt.
Released on November 30, following shocking video of alleged assault on a female surfaced, Hunt has remained fairly quiet, and out of the public eye. That was, until a recent report suggested that Hunt could find a job "sooner, rather than later." Following his initial release, there was speculation that the Birds may claim Hunt of waivers, and wait out his pending suspension. Obviously that didn't happen, but the possibility still exists as the stars appear ready to align for a possible match.
Hunt, 23, entered the league last season in blazing fashion, leading the league in rushing with 1,327 rushing yards, an additional 455 receiving yards, and 11 total touchdowns. This season, Hunt was on his way to topping his numbers, finishing with 824 rushing yards, 378 receiving yards, and 14 total touchdowns in 11 games, before his release. While it is true that Kansas City's offense was able to maintain its' level of success with Hunt's replacements, Spencer Ware and Damien Williams, the argument can certainly be made that they'd have been better had this unfortunate incident with Hunt never occurred.
Now that we're all caught up to speed on Hunt's situation, it's time to discuss the possibility of Howie Roseman reaching out at some point. Unquestionably, it would be a controversial decision. That in mind, so was signing Michael Vick back in 2009 -- although, that decision turned out fairly well in the long-term. Sure, Hunt's issue can be argued as more severe (of which, I believe it is), and today's culture maybe different than that of a decade ago. What can't be denied though, is that Kareem Hunt's talent-level would make the Eagles unequivocally better than they currently are, and he's yet to reach the peak of his performance level. His explosive nature would add a new dimension to the Eagles offense, one that it's sorely lacked since the days of LeSean McCoy, and Hunt's involvement in the pass game would add yet another weapon to an already loaded cast for Carson Wentz, that includes Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Nelson Agholor, and Golden Tate.
Understandably so, this decision would be the subject of a plethora of lengthy debates among Eagles' brass. Ultimately though, this decision comes down to whether or not the Eagles believe Kareem Hunt is deserving of a second chance. History seems to be split on player track records following domestic violence/assault issues. Ray Rice, the most infamous and extreme case, was essentially blackballed from the league, and hasn't been heard from since his release back in 2013. Greg Hardy received a second-chance following his controversial domestic violence situation, although it didn't work out in the end, and he's now pursuing a Mixed Martial Arts career with the UFC.
Essentially, the idea of a second-chance sits in the eye of the beholder. Whether Howie Roseman believes in second-chances, is the true question at hand. Regardless though, the Eagles would be foolish to not at least do their research and due diligence on this topic, and make an educated decision, as opposed to a rash one.