Now that the first wave of NFL free agency is over, it’s time for the Eagles to stop the Colts from bringing Jay Ajayi to Indianapolis.
The question of whether or not Carson Wentz can stay healthy for a full NFL season is understandably dominating the headlines of the Philadelphia Eagles’ offseason. If Doug Pederson and company really want to protect their franchise quarterback they should hand him a physical running game. Bringing Jay Ajayi back into the fold would give the Eagles a much-needed battering ram.
The Indianapolis Colts brought the free agent running back in for a visit when free agency began, but Ajayi left town without signing with the team. Now it appears the Eagles have significant interest in bringing him back to Philadelphia. Agent Drew Rosenhaus insists he is “maintaining discussions” with the Eagles about his client’s future.
Ajayi was limited to just four games last season with the Eagles after suffering a torn ACL against the Vikings. He’s not ready to resume full football activities yet, but the belief is that he should be ready to go by Week 1. It’s very likely that his inability to work out for teams is depressing his free agent market currently.
The Eagles are a team that knows exactly what Ajayi can do when he’s healthy. He was a huge factor for them as they made their Super Bowl run in 2017. Ajayi’s physical running style prevented opposing defenses from sitting back and waiting for the Eagles to pass the football on every down.
It’s reasonable for the Philadelphia front office to be concerned about Ajayi’s knee, but it’s important to remember the running back is only 25 years old. The chances of him making a full recovery are excellent. At worst, the Eagles might have to wait a few weeks to get him back into the lineup next season. At best, he could be ready to pound opponents into submission right from the opening whistle of the regular season.
If the Eagles don’t move to re-sign Ajayi it means they are going to rely on Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood and Josh Adams to man the running back position by committee. That’s not a recipe for success for a team with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations. It’s possible the Eagles could solve the issue by drafting a quality running back, but trusting a rookie to shoulder a heavy load comes with its own set of risks.
The Colts have interest in Ajayi because they know how much their franchise quarterback can benefit from a powerful runner. It’s time for the Eagles to realize the same thing. Signing Ajayi would be a great boost to Wentz’s chances of staying healthy all season long.