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Chicago Quickly Adds Backfield Depth With D'Andre Swift


D'Andre Swift
© Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Shortly after noon on Monday, March 11th, it was announced that D'andre Swift would be signing a three-year, $24 million deal with the Chicago Bears. The former Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles running back is entering his fifth year in the NFL and looking to continue his career with one of the league's most talked-about teams this offseason. Chicago was amongst the first in line to target Swift when free agency opened after noon Monday, making a major push for the former University of Georgia tailback. With the draft right around the corner, the Bears have already started to make the first of many moves to improve heading into 2024.




Philadelphia wasted no time finding his replacement in former Giants star Saquon Barkley. Swift, coming off an up-and-down season with his hometown Eagles, was not expected to be retained. Swift is looking to return to form with Chicago and the potential new-look Bears offense. Swift has been both the feature back and one back in a multiple-running back system. While most of his stats for the 2023 season would not lead one to believe Swift is a highly sought-after ball carrier, a closer look may reveal what head coach Matt Eberflus and new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron could expect from their new signee.


 

Matt Eberflus
© Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Last year was Swift's first season in the Eagles' system which saw him play a smaller role than in Detroit where he was the number one back. While he was among the league leaders in rushing yards with 1,049, his per-attempt average offers a stark contrast at 4.6 yards, tied for 123rd in the NFL. Those numbers can seem somewhat befuddling as they do not reflect the most revered aspect of Swift's game, his receiving. Coming out of the backfield, Swift has given defenses a lot to handle with over 1,400 yards receiving and eight receiving touchdowns in his four years in the league. He played a similar role while in college under offensive coordinator Jim Cheney at the University of Georgia, which saw him average 9.1 yards receiving to go along with five scores.


D'Andre Swift at Georgia
© Jake Crandall-USA TODAY Sports

Be that as it may, the position is called running back after all and the former second-round pick is still an improvement over the current Bears situation. Since entering the league in 2020, D'andre Swift has accounted for a little over 2,700 yards on almost 600 attempts with 23 rushing touchdowns. Known for his agility and quickness, Swift often finds his yards outside the tackles where he can get into the secondary. While he may get his fair share of handoffs, Swift will certainly be expected to continue his receiving strengths to help develop this revamped Chicago Bears offense, regardless of who the quarterback may be come Week 1.




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