The Jordan Howard trade didn’t catch people by surprise. There had been speculation it was coming for a year. It was only a matter of when. Reports indicate the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles ramped up their negotiations at the owners meetings down in Arizona and reached an agreement on a deal around a month ago. The Eagles got Howard, the Bears got a 6th round pick in 2020 that could become a 5th rounder.
People say Chicago should’ve gotten more and the Eagles stole him. The reality is running backs don’t go for much in general on the trade market. Especially when they’re in the last year of their contract and coming off a down season. To this point, most have blamed that down season to Howard not fitting the scheme.
So what if it was something more? It’s true the demands of the Matt Nagy offense were difficult, but there were other signs too. Signs that something was…off with Howard most of the year. One person thinks they have the answer, and it doesn’t paint the running back in the best light.
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Rumors hint Jordan Howard didn’t show up prepared for 2018 season
Bill Zimmerman of the Bears Banter podcast and Mad Dog radio spoke recently regarding the Howard trade. Most are led to believe it happened because the running back simply wasn’t a good fit for the offense. However, there may have been deeper reasoning for it. One that doesn’t paint Howard in the best light.
“When we got to the regular season, what did we find out? He didn’t quite fit in the offense. He may not have been happy either. I thought it was interesting that the “Guru” John Hansen, a great fantasy sports guy, said that he had multiple reports…and the Guru is connected. This isn’t just some guy who crunches numbers and figures out fantasy. This is a guy who’s connected around the league.
He says Jordan Howard was out of shape and the Bears weren’t pleased.”
Now Hansen has 122,000 followers on Twitter. He works radio and television. So it’s not a stretch at all to believe he’s indeed well connected to the NFL in various ways. Let us also not forget that there were warning signs last year that seemed odd at the time. For those who don’t remember, there was an instant during the offseason that Howard removed all of his Bears-related photos from Instagram and Twitter.
Though they later reappeared, it happened shortly after speculation of his fit in the offense and the trade rumors surfaced. It’s also worth noting that his explosiveness that he showed the previous two years seemed somewhat absent on a lot of his runs in 2018. This would explain a lot.
Is it possible Howard was hearing the noise and not taking it well?
There is also the fact that he was learning he would no longer be the focal point of the offense as he’d been the previous two years. Mitch Trubisky, Allen Robinson, and Tarik Cohen would take over bigger roles in the scheme. Learning he would no longer be “the guy” could’ve had a detrimental effect on his motivation.
Last but not least was the exit of John Fox. Most people were happy to see him go, yet it stands to reason not everybody was thrilled about it. Don’t forget Fox was the one who gave Howard his opportunity and made him the mainstay of the offense for two years. He may not have been happy about losing the coach.
Regardless, it’s likely we’ll never know the full truth. The Bears simply stated it was time to move in a new direction. Howard said he held no ill will towards them and was looking forward to his next chapter in Philadelphia.