Ezekiel Elliott has narrowed his list of the teams that he wants to play for during the next phase of his career. The former Dallas Cowboys running back is choosing between the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles, according to ESPN. Elliott would like to have a decision by the end of next week.
Each team Elliott is considering joining has openings at running back. While they still have starter Joe Mixon, the Bengals recently lost backup Samaje Perine in free agency. Perine, despite receiving a competitive offer from Cincinnati, instead chose to sign a multiyear deal with the Denver Broncos. In Cincinnati, Elliott would be reunited with former Cowboys tackle La’el Collins, who signed with the Bengals last offseason.
Cowboys fans surely can’t fathom the sight of Elliott wearing the rival Eagles colors next season. But the Eagles certainly make sense for Elliott given that they recently parted ways with Miles Sanders, who signed with Carolina in free agency. While the Eagles did pick up Rashaad Penny, Penny’s injury history would suggest that Philadelphia would be wise to add a player like Elliott to its backfield. The Eagles’ backfield also consists of Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott.
The Jets shouldn’t come as a surprise to be in the mix for Elliott given Gang Green’s incredibly busy offseason so far. The Jets, who are closing in on acquiring Aaron Rodgers, recently signed Allen Lazard to a multiyear deal. They also signed former Chiefs wideout Mecole Hardman, traded for Ravens safety Chuck Clark and signed a few of their own free agents that includes linebacker Quincy Williams.
New York could use help at running back after finishing just 25th in the NFL in rushing in 2022. Breece Hall, a rookie last season, enjoyed a solid start to his career before an injury sideline him for the final 10 games of the 2022 season. Fellow Jets backs Michael Carter and Zonovan Knight combined to run for 703 yards and four touchdowns last season.
Each team on Elliott’s list is expected to compete for a Lombardi Trophy in 2023. The Bengals are coming off back-to-back AFC title game appearances. The Eagles are fresh off of a Super Bowl run and the Jets are hoping to make a deep playoff run given their offseason moves. Elliott, who received a slew of individual accolades in Dallas, is surely looking to cap off his career with a championship ring.
While he may no longer be an elite player, Elliott is still a talented player who managed to find the end zone a dozen times during his final season with the Cowboys. His days of being a featured running back appear to be over, but Elliott can still be a key contributor to an already talented offense.
Wherever he signs, Elliott has made it clear that he wants to look a little different next season.
I want my #15 back
— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) March 23, 2023
It’s safe to say that all three teams on Elliott’s list will accommodate his request if he chooses to sign with them.