NFL free agency rumors: Why Jamaal Charles buzz makes sense for Eagles

Now this would be an unexpected splash for the Eagles offseason. With rumors swirling around the Kansas City Chiefs cutting running back Jamaal Charles to save cap room, the veteran running back could be on the open market and available when NFL...

NFL free agency rumors: Why Jamaal Charles buzz makes sense for Eagles

Now this would be an unexpected splash for the Eagles offseason.

With rumors swirling around the Kansas City Chiefs cutting running back Jamaal Charles to save cap room, the veteran running back could be on the open market and available when NFL free agency opens on March 9.

Before scoffing at the idea of signing a veteran runner coming off injuries, knee surgery and two down years (8 games, 83 carries, 404 total yards since the start of 2015), here are four reasons the buzz actually makes sense.

Charles is an all-time great.

Yes, you read that correctly. In the history of the NFL, Charles' 5.5 career yards per carry mark ranks second among running backs. The only runner with a better mark: Marion Motley, a fullback/linebacker that played in the 40s and 50s. Since Jim Brown entered the sport, no back has been more prolific per carry.

If you're going to bet on an older player, bet on one that's been special. Charles, despite the lack of fan fare (outside of fantasy football) during his career, has played at a Hall of Fame level.

The Doug Pederson connection.

This is important. Some of Charles' best years came with current Eagles head coach Doug Pederson as his offensive coordinator in Kansas City. Charles could seamlessly come to the Eagles and pick up the offense, blocking schemes, pass protection and running lanes.

Offense needs weapons in free agency, but doesn't have big cap room.

When trying to come up with how the Eagles could lay out a free-agent blueprint, big prices for wide receivers like Alshon Jeffery, Kenny Stills and DeSean Jackson are evident.

An alternative? Add a back that--when healthy--can be a game-breaking player.

NFL free agency rumors

One less NFL Draft need.

The Eagles, depending on how free agency and an expected roster purge unfolds, could have the following needs when the NFL Draft rolls into Philadelphia: Cornerback, wide receiver, pass rusher, defensive tackle, running back and linebacker.

Signing Charles, 30, wouldn't necessarily be a long-term answer or take the team out of the running for the right back in the draft. But it would make the position one less-pressing need. For 2017, the trio of Charles, Wendell Smallwood and Darren Sproles could be more than adequate next to quarterback Carson Wentz.

What Eagles need to accomplish at NFL Combine

Joe Giglio may be reached at jgiglio@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JoeGiglioSports. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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