Sanders finds his next home, reuniting with Staley

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Former Eagles running back Miles Sanders has found his next home, agreeing to a four-year deal to join the Carolina Panthers, according to multiple reports.

The deal is reportedly worth $25 million over those four years, according to ESPN.

In Carolina, Sanders will reunite with former Eagles running backs coach Duce Staley, whom Sanders has said is like a father figure to him. Staley joined Frank Reich’s staff earlier this offseason as an assistant head coach/running backs coach.

While Sanders never played for Reich in Philly — Reich left in 2018 and Sanders was drafted in 2019 — the connection to Staley was likely a driving force to bring Sanders to Carolina. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler was the first to report the news.

Sanders, 25, is coming off the best season of his career and his first Pro Bowl nod.

But it was apparent that the Eagles weren’t going to bring him back. After they agreed to terms with former Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny, Sanders tweeted a farewell to the City of Philadelphia on Tuesday:

Sanders in 2022 finally stayed healthy after various injuries plagued recent seasons. He played in all 20 games last year (regular season and playoffs) and finished the regular season with 1,269 yards and 11 touchdowns with an average of 4.9 yards per carry. But his production waned down the stretch and into the playoffs and he dealt with a lingering injury and second-year back Kenny Gainwell took a bigger role.

The Eagles drafted Sanders in the second round (No. 53 overall) back in 2019 out of Penn State. In his Eagles career, he rushed for 3,708 yards, which ranks eighth in Eagles franchise history behind just LeSean McCoy, Wilbert Montgomery, Brian Westbrook, Steve Van Buren, Staley, Randall Cunningham and Ricky Watters.

Sanders’ average of 5.0 yards per carry during his Eagles career is higher than all of those players listed above except Cunningham (6.6).

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