ESPN recently named Jordan Howard the most likely trade target on the Chicago Bears. We all know Jordan Howard’s name has been tossed around in trade rumors for the better part of a year now. With the trade deadline looming, should the Bears trade their two-time 1,000 yard running back?
If you look at the numbers, Howard’s usage has gone down significantly in previous weeks. He has had under 15 rushing attempts the last 3 weeks. His snap count started at 71.4% week 1 and has decreased weekly dropping to 56.1% last week. He has not rushed for over 70 yards since week 1. Matt Nagy has publicly supported his running back but you really have to wonder if Howard fits Nagy’s system.
Tarik Cohen on the other hand has become an integral part of this offense. He has helped Mitch Trubisky significantly by being open as often as your local 7/11. His snap count has gone from 40% week 1 to 51.2% this past week. He has become extremely valuable out of the backfield as a receiver but has not seen a huge uptick in carries with Howard’s decrease in usage.
Jordan Howard is still a very valuable part of this offense when used correctly. He seems to fall down and gain at least 4 yards every single time he is given the ball. He is someone I personally think Matt Nagy should utilize more in short yardage situations. In this league you need two running backs. The Bears currently have the perfect ying and yang situation in the backfield.
This all comes down to Matt Nagy’s system and the market. He tends to run a lot of short patterns followed by the occasional deep ball. The running back is involved in almost all of those short patterns as an option for Mitch. Howard has gotten better at pass catching but you can’t deny Cohen is the answer when it comes to pass catching backs in Chicago. The market for trades seems to be heating up. The Raiders just got a 1st round pick for Amari Cooper. You have to imagine the Bears could at least get a 3rd round pick for Howard. The Buccaneers are a team that I think could be interested in a back. They are just on the outside of the playoff picture and a proven running back could help that offense immensely.
At the end of the day, I think Ryan Pace may wait until the offseason to move Howard. Trading him right now would mean the Bears would then have to sign another running back. Cohen is a great pass catcher but he cannot carry the full load as an every down back. If the Bears are blown away by an offer, Pace should jump on it. He has shown recently that he is not afraid to be aggressive. I think this Bears team is a playoff team but it is by no means a Super Bowl team. If the offer is there, you trade Howard to make next year and the year after a Super Bowl year. The future is bring in Chicago, will Jordan Howard be around for the parade down State Street? Stay tuned folks!