A feeling of déjà vu set in last week when Jordan Howard trade rumors surfaced, but perhaps there is a bit more to this than just some Scouting Combine smoke:
Multiple teams approached the Chicago Bears at the combine last week and discussed a potential trade for RB Jordan Howard, per league sources. Discussions ongoing.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 7, 2019
The wording of this tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter – who reports multiple teams approached the Bears regarding the possibility of trading for Jordan Howard – is different than the first reports that came out of Indianapolis that the team was shopping the running back at the Combine. That the Bears had teams (plural!) coming to them and talked about a possible deal (again, with teams) is different. Because you can shop a player and not have any interest. But when teams are coming to you, well then, that’s a horse of a different color.
Schefter also made note that discussions are ongoing, which means the conversations are a two-way street between teams approaching the Bears, the team listening, then responding in kind. That’s different than what was reported around this time last year, when Howard’s name popped up on the rumor mill. After the Bears were reportedly discussing Howard in a possible trade chip in the Jarvis Landry sweepstakes, reports dismissing those rumors came out quickly to put out that fire. And a month later, reports surfaced that the team had no plans to trade Howard. Of course, things change as time passes.
To be clear, the Bears shouldn’t be trying to move Howard for the sake of it – even if trading him means clearing $2 million in cap space. Because even in a down year, Howard still rushed for more than 900 yards and scored nine touchdowns. No, Howard wasn’t as explosive as he had been in his first two seasons, but he rounded out his game by improving as a pass-catcher and as a pass-blocker.
… and yet, his long-term fit in this offense didn’t materialize last season, whether he can work ideally in a Matt Nagy offense is (at best) unsettled, and he is about to enter the final year of his deal. There might not be a better time deal Howard than now. If that’s the case, the Bears shouldn’t pass up a good value if it comes their way, while looking to pick up a differently-styled back in another way.
More on this as it develops.