After the Chicago Bears traded Jordan Howard for what they did, it’s clear he had no trade value.
It’s been almost a week since Jordan Howard was sent packing to Philadelphia.
It had become clear it was a trade that was unavoidable. Howard wasn’t going to be a member of this team come September no matter what they could get (or even if they could get nothing).
Did the Bears get fleeced? That’s hard to make that assessment when it’s clear that there wasn’t one team in the NFL that felt Howard was worth a fifth round pick.
Bears fans love Howard and for good reason. When things were bleak for the Bears the last few years and there were barely any bright spots, Howard was the one player that shined brightly.
When you have a roster thin on talent and one guy rises to the top, fans are going to gravitate towards him. Not to mention, in a city that loves “3 yards and a cloud of dust” and a heavy dose of the running back, Howard was perfect for the city of Chicago.
Howard had an amazing rookie year. His second year was solid but not spectacular, and his third season was downright poor.
The Eagles are rolling the dice on Howard when other teams weren’t interested. NFL Insider Ian Rapoport said in an NFL Network interview when discussing Howard, “assuming he makes the team” which means while it’s certainly better than 50-50, Rapoport is clearly hearing that his roster spot isn’t a lock.
Brad Biggs, in his recent mailbag, broke down Howard’s trade value and his value to the Bears:
"Based on the compensation they received — a sixth-round pick in 2020 that can improve to a fifth-rounder in 2020 if Howard performs well — there wasn’t much market for him. I have been writing since before last season that Howard’s trade value was going to be lower than most people figured, and it got worse after a disappointing season. Reality is the Bears were going to release Howard if they couldn’t find a taker for him. Some readers won’t believe that, but you don’t take a starting running back and put him behind a new addition in Mike Davis and potentially a new draft pick and pay him $2 million as the No. 3."
As we all know, Biggs is a connected guy and two things stand out in that quote. First, Howard didn’t have much of a market. Teams just weren’t interested in trading for a one-dimensional running back coming off a career-worst season.
The second and even more compelling piece in that excerpt was that the Bears were going to release Howard if they couldn’t find a taker.
That is a strong statement. Biggs felt that the Bears were finished with Howard. They had moved on. There was zero chance he was going to be on the roster.
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Bears fans, it’s time to open your eyes and separate your heart from your brain. Your heart loves Jordan Howard. My heart loves Jordan Howard. We all love Jordan Howard. He gave Chicago two great seasons when there was very little to enjoy.
But put the heart aspect aside and realize what happened. Howard’s trade value had steadily been declining and coming off the worst season of his career, the Bears were lucky they got anything for him. They found a taker in the Eagles who aren’t even certain he will make the roster.
The Bears have moved on, and it’s time Bears’ fans move on as well. We love and thank Jordan Howard for his time here, but this moment was inevitable. Nobody is at fault. Ryan Pace didn’t get fleeced. Matt Nagy didn’t utilize him poorly. It was just time to part ways.
I hope Jordan Howard has a great season in Philadelphia because I want that fifth round pick (and also because I hope Howard does well), but if he does do well in Philadelphia, that doesn’t mean it was a poor decision to let him go.
It was time.