Miles Sanders Free Agency 2023: Possible Landing Spots, Proposed Contract, Eagles RB Off-Season Prediction

Miles Sanders has one of the most intriguing free agent cases out there given his position and his position in a stacked free agent class of running backs. While Josh Jacobs and Saquon Barkley will make all the headlines as free agency enters 2023, Sanders presents strong arguments as to why he should be paid in the coming weeks.

Sanders is having the best season of his four-year career, rushing 259 times for a career-high 1,269 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also put up a career-high 1,347 yards from scrimmage while earning his first Pro Bowl selection. Sanders finished fifth in the NFL in rushing, the first running back to finish in the top five in rushing yards for the Philadelphia Eagles since LeSean McCoy in 2014.

In the last four seasons, Sanders has rushed for 3,708 yards — good for ninth place in the NFL over that span. Sanders has an average of 5.02 yards per carry — fourth best in the NFL among running backs with at least 500 carries (fifth overall).

The figures suggest Sanders should be paid when he signs his second contract. Will it be by the Eagles – or will they pass on their longtime starter? How much does Sanders get on the open market?

Everything you need to know about Sanders’ free agency is here. From predicted landing spots to market value, CBS Sports has all the news and updates. Sanders is one of the best running backs in a crowded running back market.

Salary cap figures are from About the cap

Possible landing sites

Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins have two free-agent running backs who will hit free-agency in Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson, making their backfield plans for 2023 very intriguing. Salvon Ahmed is a good player, but Mike McDaniel likes to have another back that stretches explosive plays and carries the running game through. The Dolphins averaged 99.2 yards per game (25th in the NFL) and had just 12 rushing touchdowns (22nd in the NFL), making Sanders an ideal choice to complement an explosive passing game with his ground presence. The Dolphins have a -$16,377,201 cap spot, but they can still free up cash to land a player of Sanders’ caliber.

Buffalo bills: This is another AFC East team that could use a leading running back in Sanders — and take the pressure off Josh Allen of carrying a running game that averaged 5.2 yards per carry last season (second in the NFL ). Imagine pairing Sanders with Allen and instantly changing the momentum of the Bills offense. The Bills could use a go-to running back to pair up with James Cook, so why not add Sanders into the mix? Like the Dolphins, the Bills are above the cap at $16,561,186 — but will make enough room to add a player like Sanders.

Philly Eagles: Sanders certainly had his share of success in Philadelphia, particularly on Sirianni’s offense. Sanders, the No. 1 running back in the league’s top running game for the past two seasons, complemented Jalen Hurts well as the two were one of the best quarterback running back pairings. Sanders was a top-five running back last season, but how valuable is he to the Eagles? Was Hurts the catalyst for Sanders’ success, or was Sanders so crucial to the quick attack? A knee injury handicapped Sanders in the postseason and a wrist injury limited Sanders’ touches in the Super Bowl, giving the impression that the Eagles were ready to move on. Sanders wants to return to Philadelphia, but can he and the Eagles agree on a price?

Carolina Panther: Could a Duce Staley reunion be in the works for Sanders? Staley was the running backs coach for Sanders during his first two seasons in the league, when Sanders was one of the most explosive players in the NFL. Reuniting with Staley in a Frank Reich offense would be huge for a Panthers team that has its own free agent running back in D’Onta Foreman. Sanders could be the explosives again in Carolina while hanging out with Foreman (if the Panthers decide to bring him back). The Panthers are $2,296,450 over the salary cap, but it shouldn’t take much to get them below the cap and become a player in the running back market.

Denver Broncos: Given Javonte Williams’ situation regarding his ACL injury, there’s no guarantee he’ll be as explosive or ready again by Week 1 of the 2023 season. Why not bring Sanders to a short-term deal and let him carry the running back group until Williams is 100 percent? Both Sanders and Williams can then split the carries and help take pressure off Russell Wilson’s offense carry. Broncos coach Sean Payton also prefers to have two running backs on his offense, which would also help bring Sanders into the game. Payton likes to have a diverse set of backs, and Sanders would be an excellent early down back on this offense. The Broncos have a $9,617,224 salary cap, so there’s room to play for Sanders.

Planned contract

Spotrac has Sanders’ projected value two years from now and $14,447,822 — an average annual value of $7,223,911. Based on players who received similar deals at the age of Sanders (25), Leonard Fournette signed a three-year contract worth $21,000,000 ($7,000,000 per year) at 27, Joe Mixon got one at 24 Four-year contract for $48,000,000 ($12,000,000 per year) and Rashaad Penny signed a one-year deal at 25 worth $5,750,000.

If Sanders earns an annual salary of $7,223,911, Sanders would be the 10th highest paid running back in the NFL. Saquon Barkley is ahead of Sanders but also on the verge of a significant pay rise. The same applies to Josh Jacobs, who is also a free agent. Ideally, Sanders would like to get in the $10,000,000 range with the top eight running backs — but the free agent market will determine how much Sanders actually gets.

A $7,200,000 contract is actually excellent value for Sanders – as it’s worth at least $8,000,000 based on last year’s production.


While Sanders wants to return to Philadelphia, do the Eagles really want to pay Sanders a $7 million-a-season contract with all the free agents they have to keep? This was just a bad offseason for Sanders to become a free agent with the Eagles as the market could potentially price him out – unless he needs less to secure a team-friendly deal.

A return of Sanders to Philadelphia is still likely. If he and the Eagles parted ways, the Dolphins and Bills would certainly be there for his services. Both teams need a No. 1 running back who’s productive, and Sanders is checking all of those boxes. He would be a great fit for those franchises.

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