March 11, 2024   4 MIN READ


Birds Lure Saquon Barkley With Stunning Contract


In a stunning about-face for a franchise that’s rarely paid big bucks for running backs, the Eagles on Monday reportedly agreed to a blockbuster deal to lure Saquon Barkley away from their NFC East rivals.

The team reportedly inked Barkley, the No. 2 overall pick in 2018 and a two-time Pro Bowler, to a three-year deal. ESPN reported the deal is worth almost $38 million.

The New York post reported that $26 million of the deal is guaranteed, a staggering number given that the Eagles’ highest-paid running back in 2023 was Boston Scott, at less than $3 million.

The Eagles’ top rusher last season, D’Andre Swift, who on Monday agreed to terms with the Bears for much less money, made less than $2 million last year and produced a career-best 1,263 combined yards. Barkley produced 1,242 on a one-year deal worth about $11 million.

Saquon Barkley

GETTY IMAGES: Saquon Barkley bolted the Giants for the Eagles to become their newest RB.

It’s a major about-face for the Eagles, who – as Inside The Birds’ Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan have reported recently – entered the free-agency period looking to “be aggressive” in reshaping the roster of a team that collapsed at the end of 2023, losing seven of its last eight games after a 10-1 start.

The Eagles on Monday also landed free-agent pass rusher Bryce Huff, agreeing to terms with the former Jets standout on a three-year, $51.1 million deal.

The legal tampering period began at noon Monday. The official start of the new NFL league year is 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Barkley, a former Penn State star, showcased his trademark explosion and versatility as rookie, leading the NFL with 2,028 combined yards and 15 touchdowns. He averaged 5.0 yards per carry and 5.8 yards per touch.

He dropped to 1,441 yards in his second season, playing 14 games, and totaling jut eight touchdowns. An ACL injury limited him to just two games in 2020.

In 2021, he played 13 games, averaged just 3.7 yards per carry behind one of the NFL’s worst offensive lines and totaled just 856 yards but bounced back in 2022 with his second Pro Bowl season, collecting 1,650 combined yards, although he averaged just 4.7 yards per touch adn 4.4 per carry.

He played 14 games for the Giants in 2023, producing the second-worst yards-per-carry average (3.9) of his career and third-worst yards per touch (4.3) as he accumulated 1,242 total yards – his fewest in any season that he played at least 14 games.

In Philadelphia, Barkley will have an opportunity to run behind an offensive line with Pro Bowlers at two spots, including right tackle Lane Johnson, who’s regarded as one of the NFL’s best offensive linemen and left guard Landon Dickerson, a two-time Pro Bowler who on Monday agreed to a massive extension.

The Bears and Texans were also interested, per the Post, and the Giants never made an offer. Here are Barkley’s salary breakdowns.

The Eagles haven’t splurged on a free-agent running back since the infamous DeMarco Murray signing away from Dallas in 2015, lured by a five-year, $42-million deal that came with $21 million guaranteed, per ESPN.

But the Eagles that year were run by former head coach Chip Kelly, who had won a power struggle with Howie Roseman to seize control of personnel.

Murray lasted just one season with the Eagles and was traded away after the season, with Kelly fired and Roseman’s power restored.

Roseman, now the team’s executive vice president of football operations, has typically spent very little at running back but has still received good production from players such as LeGarrett Blount, second-round pick Miles Sanders, and trade acquisitions Jay Ajayi and Swift.

The Eagles have had a different leading rusher in each of the past three seasons but have still produced some of the NFL’s top rushing offenses, including a top-five rushing offense and No. 1-ranked rushing offense.

– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for

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  • Tommy

    I love the Saquon signing. I’m a fan; I could care less about the contract. All I care about is the product on the field. Adding Saquon, with his homerun & pass-catching abilities, should kick the Eagles’ offensive production into overdrive.

    Saquon has always run into loaded boxes…just look at his QBs while in NY. In 2022, he was able to have success vs loaded boxes due to the Giants using Daniel Jones as a runner AND by a ton of 6 offensive lineman snaps. In Philly, you can’t load the box AND Hurts is a running threat.

    The success of this signing WILL rest on the HUBRIS of the HC and OC. Will they run the ball when defenses blatantly DARE them to run?

    This should also lead to a reduction in Kenny Gainwell snaps (hopefully).