HomeDa Birds NewsWill the Eagles Be Able to Sign D'Andre Swift in Free Agency?

Will the Eagles Be Able to Sign D’Andre Swift in Free Agency?

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Will the Eagles Be Able to Sign D’Andre Swift in Free Agency?

PHILADELPHIA – If the Philadelphia Eagles’ recent history is a guide, Pro Bowl running back D’Andre Swift’s return home will be a short one.

Swift, a Philadelphia native and former St. Joe’s Prep star, delivered in his return to town, piling up a career-high 1,049 at 4.6 yards-per-clip with five touchdowns while adding 214 more and another TD in the passing game on 39 receptions.

He finished as the NFL’s fifth-leading rusher in the final year of his rookie deal as a second-round pick out of Georgia in 2020. GM Howie Roseman got Swift from Detroit for a bargain-basement price – swapping 2023 seventh-rounders with a 2025 fourth-round pick as the kicker – on Day 3 of the 2023 draft back in April after the Lions drafted Jahmyr Gibbs in the first round.

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Swift also proved durable after his first three seasons in Detroit produced four missed games in each campaign and a high of 213 touches in 2021. He missed only one game this season with the Eagles, the regular-season finale due to an illness that was more precautionary than anything else, toiling in 17 games overall (16 starts), including Monday’s 32-9 postseason loss at Tampa Bay.

The running back position has been devalued as a whole in the NFL, however, and the Eagles have taken that sentiment further than most.

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To prove that thesis, you need to look no further than the 2022 NFC Championship season when the homegrown Miles Sanders delivered in his contract year with a career-high 1,269 yards and 11 TDs en route to Pro Bowl recognition. When Carolina came calling with a four-year, $25.4 million contract offer in free agency, the Eagles said thanks for the memories and went looking for other alternatives, something that ultimately landed them on Swift.

While Swift in 2023 wasn’t quite up to Sanders in 2022, if another similar contract is out there for the former it’s hard to imagine the Eagles even pausing before saying goodbye.

Things have only gotten dimmer around the league for running backs and Sanders laid an egg with the Panthers so Swift will likely be operating in a depressed market and that could keep the Eagles involved.

D'Andre Swift
D’Andre Swift understands the realities of the RB market. John McMullen Eagles Today

However, Swift is not necessarily going to just default back to Philadelphia anyway. A source close to the running back noted he wasn’t always happy in the offense pointing to Week 1 in New England when Swift was the backup to Kenny Gainwell and also his use in the passing game where Swift averaged only 5.5 yards per reception after never averaging less than 7.3 YPR in Detroit.

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“I don’t know, only time will tell,” Swift left things at cleanout day earlier this week when asked about his future. “That’s my feeling right now – resting my body and then getting back to work and controlling what I can control.

“I’d say that’s out of my hands. So, we’ll see.”

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When asked specifically about the offensive struggles down the stretch, Swift played it diplomatically.

“I don’t feel like that’s a question for me,” Swift said. “As a team we didn’t do what we wanted to do. Everybody has got a part to play in that. [The coaches are] not out there running the ball, catching the ball, and making tackles.”

Moving forward, the Eagles’ have only one RB from the 53-man roster under contract in Gainwell. They did sign practice-squader Lew Nichols to a futures deal earlier this week. Veterans Boston Scott and Rashaad Penny, like Swift, are impending free agents.

Swift is comfortable that someone will value what he brought to the table this season.

“I think I proved a lot to myself,” Swift said. “I’m just getting started, to be honest. I’m just scratching the surface of everything that I can do.”

Considering the brief return of Pro Bowl running back D’Andre Swift to his home town of Philadelphia, it seems like a natural transition, considering his successful career and the overall devaluation of running backs. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Swift has managed to have a successful career in the NFL, bringing a career-high 1,049 yards at a rate of 4.6 yards per carry along with five touchdowns. Additionally, he added another 214 yards and a touchdown in the passing game on 39 receptions.

Swift, who began his NFL career as a second-round pick out of Georgia in 2020, was acquired by the Philadelphia Eagles from Detroit for a seemingly low price. The swap involved 2023 seventh-rounders with a 2025 fourth-round pick as the kicker. Despite his successful season with the Eagles, there are indications that he might not continue with the team as he has indicated some concerns about the formations and coaching decisions made by the team.

He displayed remarkable durability throughout his career in Detroit and continued his consistency with the Eagles, missing only one game this season. This type of consistency and adaptability is valuable in the ever-changing landscape of the NFL, which could contribute to Swift’s future potential with the Eagles or another team.

In a more recent season, the Eagles have not been hesitant to search for alternative assets, even after a successful year from their running back. In the case of Miles Sanders, who had a career-high 1,269 yards and 11 touchdowns along with a Pro Bowl recognition, the Eagles did not hesitate to look for alternatives when necessary.

Although D’Andre Swift’s performance in 2023 wasn’t up to par with Sanders in 2022, the Eagles might not hesitate to move on if a similar contract for Swift happens elsewhere. The devaluation of running backs in the league suggests that the market for someone like Swift might be more depressed, which could potentially keep the Eagles interested in keeping him on the team. However, given his comments about the offense and coaching decisions, it seems that Swift might not necessarily want to stay in Philadelphia despite his status as a local star.

Currently, the Eagles only have Kenny Gainwell under contract in the running back position, with the veterans Boston Scott and Rashaad Penny also facing contract issues. It is evident that the future of the Eagles running game could see significant changes in the upcoming season. Nonetheless, Swift is confident in his abilities and has indicated that he is just getting started and has much more to offer moving forward. Despite the uncertainties, his productivity and versatility give hope to NFL teams that he can make a significant impact wherever he lands.

Swift’s future in the NFL will be interesting to watch as he navigates the potential shifts in the league and seeks to establish himself as a valuable asset. The decision of whether he stays with the Eagles or pursues opportunities elsewhere, combined with how the team addresses their running back situation, will undoubtedly create considerable intrigue leading up to the next NFL season.

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