Eagles sign JaQuan Hardy ahead of training camp

With Eagles training camp getting underway this week, Howie Roseman is still busy at work adding to his roster. On Sunday, multiple reports indicated that the team signed former Cowboys running back JaQuan Hardy.

The details of Hardy’s deal aren’t available yet, but I can’t imagine it’ll be anything groundbreaking.

Standing at 5-foot-10, 225 pounds, Hardy is the biggest back the Eagles will have at their disposal during camp. He entered the league in 2021 as an undrafted free agent, signing with Dallas last offseason. He saw very limited playing time during his rookie campaign, but he had a nice outing to close his rookie season out against the Eagles in Week 18. Hardy totaled 26 yards on just three carries in that contest and scored his only touchdown of the season.

Playing his collegiate ball at Tiffin University — a small DII school in Ohio — Hardy didn’t have much buzz when he opted to enter the NFL Draft. In his final year at Tiffin, Hardy had the best statistical season of his collegiate career, racking up 1,554 rushing yards on 204 carries (7.6 YPC) and found the endzone 15 times. Hardy averaged a whopping 141.3 rushing yards per game in his senior year, paving the way for his eventual stint with the Cowboys.

After the Eagles released Craig James last week, the team had one final roster spot to fill before camp. There was some speculation that the vacant roster spot was being held in case they acquired safety Jessie Bates from the Bengals. Obviously, it’s very unlikely that hardy has the same kind of impact that Bates would have had here in Philly, but he still adds some much needed depth to the Eagles backfield for camp.

As it stands, the Eagles will have six backs on the roster heading into camp: Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Kenneth Gainwell, Jason Huntley, Kennedy Brooks, and JaQuan Hardy.

Does Hardy have a real chance to make the final roster?

It feels pretty unlikely at this point, but anything is possible. If this Hardy signing tells us anything substantive, it’s that the team really is trying to replace the north-south running style that Jordan Howard brought to the rushing attack last season.

UDFA Kennedy Brooks fits that skill set as well. And now that Hardy is in the fold, it appears the coaching staff does value that type of running style to complement their current stable of running backs.

Throwing Hardy into the mix just adds another wrinkle to the RB4 competition between Huntley and Brooks. One of the more interesting camp battles this year just got a little more intriguing. I’m here for it.

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