January 19, 2024   4 MIN READ

Run It Back?

Following Breakout Season, Birds RB Swift Talks Uncertain Future, Free Agency


PHILADELPHIA – On the heels of a career season, and facing an uncertain future in Philadelphia, Eagles running back D’Andre Swift’s locker was a popular destination during exit-interview day.

A Philadelphia native, Swift appeared in 16 games for the Eagles, compiling 1,049 rushing yards (fifth-most) and five touchdowns on 229 carries (12th-most), all career highs for the former Lions halfback.

A premier dual threat before coming to the Eagles during a draft-weekend trade in April, Swift was curiously underutilized as a receiver, rolling up a career-low 239 yards and a touchdown on 39 receptions.

Seemingly still processing the whirlwind season and his pending free agency after the suffocating media scrum, Swift sat on his folding chair in front of his locker and discussed his appetite for some down time before the offseason grind begins.

He’ll have a couple of months before he has to worry about his 2024 season destination.

“Rest right now and get healthy and then go back to work,” Swift said of his immediate plans. “Whatever else happens, is gonna happen when it happens. I don’t really know right now.”

D'Andre Swift

GETTY IMAGES: Eagles RB D’Ande Swift is one of just a few pending free agents from the offensive side.

When Swift arrived in Philadelphia in exchange for a 2025 fourth-round pick and 2023 seventh-rounder, the narrative was that he was the equivalent of a high-end sports car – smooth, exhilarating and dynamic in acceleration, but would also require heavy maintenance, as his lengthy injury history suggested.

Given his history, Swift was largely expected to serve as a strategic accessory, someone who needed to be preserved for the long-haul.

But Swift had other plans.

The Lions castoff rewrote the book on him, proving to be durable and with plenty of juice remaining in the tank late in the season.

The result showed perhaps that Swift could’ve possibly handled more volume, especially as the Eagles’ disjointed offense lacked rhythm and explosion as the season progressed.

Still, even if only for one season, Swift reflected fondly on his time with the Eagles.

“Definitely enjoyed it,” he said. “Had a lot of fun this season with this group of guys, the work that we put in day in and day out. Just fell short at the end. Not an ideal, the season ending how it did.

“But I’m thankful for this group of guys, coaching staff, and just the opportunity to come in here and compete.”

Swift, a change-of-pace weapon with home-run potential – was identified as the missing ingredient needed to propel a high-octane Eagles into another level.

His arrival seemed to signal a one-two run game punch alongside free-agent rental Rashaad Penny to give the offense a sorely needed explosive dimension out of the backfield.

Perhaps more importantly, the pairing was expected to be cost-effective, as the Eagles watched homegrown draft pick Miles Sanders cash in with the Carolina Panthers in free agency.

As it turned out, Penny was a non-entity while Swift surged in a timeshare with Kenneth Gainwell. Of all his areas of development, none was more important than Swift’s availability.

When he was given his opportunities – sporadic as they might have been some weeks – Swift produced.

The running back landscape for the Eagles in 2024 is hardly settled.

Swift and Penny are pending free agents. So is Boston Scott – the team’s highest-paid running back in 2023 – who logged only 20 carries.

Change is surely on the horizon, as only Gainwell is under contract.

Perhaps Swift sidesteps free agency and finds common ground with the Eagles, presumably paired with a power runner, to give the offense a modern thunder-and-lightning tandem.

Swift confessed to feeling sore from the season’s workload, but not deterred.

“I wish I was getting prepared to go to Detroit [for an NFC Divisional game],” he said.

As he continued to pack up his locker for perhaps the final time, a stoic – albeit steadfast – Swift committed to his next objective when he’s ready to resume workouts:

“Work harder than I did last year.”

– Andrew DiCecco (@AndrewDiCecco) is a Staff Reporter/Content Producer for InsideTheBirds.com.

About The Author

Comments are closed here.