Kerryon Johnson Joins The Fold

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

On Friday afternoon, the Eagles announced that they made an addition at running back by claiming Kerryon Johnson from the Lions.

Johnson adds to a crowded room that may not even allow allow room for him on the 53-man by the end of camp.

As the claiming team, the Eagles wouldn’t owe Johnson a ton of money, but he also becomes the second-highest paid player at the position in the Eagles roster.

Eagles Running Backs, 2021

Player Cap Hit Dead Cap
Miles Sanders $1,459,139 $959,174
Kerryon Johnson $1,366,867 $0
Boston Scott $920,000 $0
Jordan Howard $850,000 $0
Jason Huntley $780,000 $0
Adrian Killins $672,600 $25,200
Elijah Holyfield $660,000 $0

Note that Kenneth Gainwell is not officially signed yet, but figures to earn around $660,000 in 2021 as a fifth-round pick.

Like most of the team’s running backs, Johnson could be cut to save all of that cap space, so he may have a more difficult time making the team than some others.

A second-round pick in 2018, that was Johnson’s best season as a pro, gaining 641 yards on the ground (5.4 yards per carry) and adding 213 yards receiving. In the two seasons since, he has just 584 yards on the ground (3.54 YPC) and 314 receiving yards.

Johnson would seem to best fit as a pass catcher or an extra blocker. In the former role, he’d likely compete more against rookie Kenny Gainwell as the rookie is projected as a steal of the draft with his abilities in that area. In the latter, he’d likely compete with Howard, who has been among the best blockers among running backs since he entered the league.

Howard may be Johnson’s primary competition as Howard continues to attempt a comeback from injury. If Howard shows he is good to go in camp, Johnson may be gone and vice-versa. Of course, injuries are always a factor, so having somewhere between 5-6 backs the team believes will be productive is certainly not a bad thing, especially when adding one results in no sure dead money.

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