The 2018 season was great year for many Chicago Bears. One player who did struggle at times was starting running back Jordan Howard.
Howard failed to eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the first in his career. Head coach Matt Nagy has been adamant about the team’s need to add another pass-catching running back leaving open the possibility of a trade.
With Howard entering the final year of his rookie contract and Nagy’s inability to feature him consistently, there will be trade value for the young running back. The three-year running back is a power runner who does his best work in between the tackles, something that is in high demand around the league. There are several teams in need of a young, quality running back.
2018 was an all-around bad year for the Oakland Raiders as they finished with just four wins. Head coach John Gruden offense was ineffective due to injuries and a lack of talent. The team lost starting running back Marshawn Lynch to an injury, and their leading rusher Doug Martin finished with 723 rushing yards.
Gruden loves to run the ball with power backs as a way to set up the short passing game. Oakland’s large amount of draft picks coupled with Howard fitting their needs could provide Chicago with its best trade partner.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be led by new head coach Bruce Arians. Although Arians is a passing offense expert, he does rely on a strong running game to help set up play-action passes. Last season, the Buccaneers got very little production from their running backs.
Both Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones combined for combined for 1,152 rushing yards and just six touchdowns. Howard has nine rushing touchdowns each of the last two seasons and would be a good fit in Arians’ offense. Other than draft picks in return, Chicago could seek wide receiver Chris Godwin in return to fill a need at wide receiver.
New York Jets
The Jets are another team with a new head coach as Adam Gase will look to develop rookie quarterback Sam Darnold. Gase will need a reliable back to take the pressure off his young quarterback as no Jets running back last season started more than seven games.
Jets offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains has a history with Howard as he was the Bears OC in 2016 when Howard rushed for over 1,300 yards and made the Pro-Bowl. Gase has relied on a strong running game as a means of clock control to win games which may be his goal in 2019.
Panthers’ running back Christian McCaffrey is one of the league’s best running backs but needs help. Although McCaffrey rushed for 1,000 yards, Carolina saw virtually no production from the rest of their running back. Furthermore, the Panther’s starter is more effective in the passing game as he recorded 107 catches last season which is the most all-time for a running back.
Howard would allow the Panthers to utilize McCaffrey more in the passing game rather than the rushing game, limiting his exposure to injury. It also would give them a strong back that can get the tough yards at the end of games.