Howard had been rumored as trade bait since before the 2018 season, as Tarik Cohen took on a larger role in first-year coach Matt Nagy's offense. In his third season in the Windy City, Howard saw another dip in production as he totaled 935 rushing yards and 3.7 yards per carry. When Chicago signed former Seahawks running back Mike Davis in free agency, the writing looked to be on the wall.
Still on his cheap rookie deal, Howard is slated to make $2 million in the final season of his four-year contract.
In Philadelphia, Howard will add to a running book room desperate for a bell cow. Before acquiring the 24-year-old, the Eagles employed Corey Clement, Josh Adams, Wendell Smallwood, Donnel Pumphrey and Boston Scott in their backfield, having let go of veterans Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles. With Ajayi and Sproles sidelined by injury in 2018, the Eagles averaged just 98.1 rushing YPG and 3.9 YPC, good for 28th and 30th in the pros, respectively.
Chicago, meanwhile, will go ahead with Cohen and Davis as its two-headed running back attack.
The Bears might miss Howard, who set the franchise's rookie rushing record with 1,313 yards in 2016. The back also reached 2,000 rushing yards faster (24 games) than Walter Payton and Gale Sayers. Since entering the league, Howard has the third-most rushing yards of any running back in the league (3,370), just behind Ezekiel Elliott (4,048) and Todd Gurley (3,441).
But despite that historic early production, Chicago has chosen to offload Howard before being forced to re-sign him.