Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

18 Oct 2011

Eagles Deal Ronnie Brown to Lions

The Lions, looking for more of a power back behind Jahvid Best, have traded Jerome Harrison and an undisclosed 2013 draft pick (rumored to be a seventh-rounder) to Philadelphia for Ronnie Brown.

UPDATE: Um, never mind. Apparently Harrison failed his physical, and the deal is off.

Turns out during the physical that the Eagles discovered Harrison had a brain tumor, and the trade being voided may have prevented much worse things from happening.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 18 Oct 2011

19 comments, Last at 25 Oct 2011, 7:21am by the cat in the box is dead


by Yuri (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 4:14pm

Eagles involved in a bizarre backup running back trade involving Jerome Harrison... again?

by Jimmy :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 4:16pm

damn you!

by Yuri (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 4:27pm


I hope that the ESPN reporting of the signing offers plenty of replays of the MNF game vs WAS (where Harrison had his one glory moment as an Eagle).


by JasonK :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 4:54pm

I hope it offers plenty of replays of Ronnie Brown's goalline improvised-backward-pass play a few weeks ago.

by Jimmy :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 4:16pm

Isn't this the second time the Eagles have traded for Jerome Harrison in two years? Maybe they should sign him to a longer contract.

by Pass to Set Up ... :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 4:35pm

I think Harrison wanted to compete for a starting position and knew he wasn't going to displace Shady. There aren't really enough touches for a proper RB in Andy Reid's system anyway. So the front office didn't bother trying to sign Harrison as a backup, because they knew he wouldn't be happy with it. In any case, I'm glad to see him back. He's good running and catching. Not as agile as Shady, but stronger (hopefully helps us in short yardage situations.).

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 4:27pm

Little-used backup running back traded for little-used backup running back. Film at 11.

by ZMan (not verified) :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 5:12pm

The Lions may need more than a just a power back compliment to Best - they may to replace him. Best suffered his 2nd concussion of season in the 4th quarter Sunday, and of course he closed out his college career missing substantial time due to a head/neck injury.


For now, the Lions are not ruling Best out for Sunday vs Atlanta.


by Nathan :: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 5:30pm

Best's concussion in college was the worst I've seen. Really really scary. Call me crazy, but I think Harrison is a halfway decent back, caught my eye in Cleveland.

by the cat in the box is dead (not verified) :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 4:10am

Tells you a lot about their Front Office philosophy, I think. They release someone they had, get someone with a more prestigious name on the cheap, who turns out to not be as good as advertised (and indeed makes a catastrophic mistake in a crucial situation) and then they swing a trade for the first guy, and end up with one more draft pick than they had.

It's this season in a nutshell- a team's GM spinning his wheels crazily, If you look at the off the field picture things are coming out ahead, but the product's shambolic on the field. Someone needs to restrict Howie Roseman's access to caffeine and get him to slow down.

by chemical burn :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 1:21pm

I don't know - the Eagles backup RB isn't going to get more than a handful of meaningful touches a season, they knew what they had in Harrison, Brown is legit, they made a reasonable and inexpensive attempt to upgrade a mostly insignificant position. I think this trade has a lot to do with that they're very happy with how Dion Lewis is developing and it's just a 3rd stringer they're futzing around with. Also, based on the excessively lengthy Kurt Coleman benching and the much publicized heat Samuel has been getting for his "ole" tackling, I this trade is really part of a larger attempt to send a message to the locker room that sloppiness and mental lethargy won't be tolerated (Brown I don't think has seen the field since his ludicrous, game-losing goal-line lateral.) I'd actually be surprised if Kafka isn't named the #2 QB after the crap Young pulled this week.

by the cat in the box is dead (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2011 - 7:21am

Hmm, fair enough, when you put it like that. I'm usually a bit of an Eagles optimist, and it would seem that their bye week's given me time to calm down a bit!

In some ways that'll work out well, I think- Brown strikes me as the sort of good guy who won't complain too much about another player's brain tumour costing him an opportunity, and there are worse 3rd RBs to have. I'm glad this has worked out to Harrison's benefit, too.

Another side to this- this seems to have come out at the time of the trade because the Eagles' doctors were more diligent than another team's staff with regard to head injuries. That might put PFT's obsession with the whole Vick 'dirt in the eyes, definitely not a concussion' thing in a slightly different context, though I admit that one might treat a player differently before they acquire them to the way they do once they're vital to the team.

by lionsbob :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 7:24pm

Trade has been voided because of Jerome Harrison injury....

by chemical burn :: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 9:51pm

Hm. Is there any team with a B- level weakside linebacker that needs a 2nd string RB?

by MilkmanDanimal :: Thu, 10/20/2011 - 1:49pm

PFT is reporting Harrison has a brain tumor, which was just discovered during the physical. Wow.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Thu, 10/20/2011 - 2:54pm

Does anyone know if this news came from Harrison himself? If not, I wonder if Harrison signed a HIPAA waiver before that got out.

by Theo :: Thu, 10/20/2011 - 6:29pm

Good thing they found that tumor now. Alternative would be that Harrison stayed on the team and didn't get a scan in maybe a year.
Makes me wonder, in what physical test do you find a brain tumor? Do they take a blood sample and look for cancer? Or do they make a brain CT scan as default?

by tuluse :: Thu, 10/20/2011 - 7:18pm

I'm guessing they take a brain scan when acquiring any new player to establish a baseline for concussions. They may have even been looking for evidence of concussions.

by TomC :: Sat, 10/22/2011 - 12:05pm

As far as I can ascertain, no one has said whether the tumor is benign or malignant. While it's no fun to have brain surgery (so people tell me), if the tumor is benign (and not too big, and in a not too awkward place), the procedure is pretty straightforward, and the recovery time is short. His surgery was scheduled for yesterday, which makes me think it probably is benign---i.e., my totally inexpert assumption is that if it were cancer, there would have been more discussion about what to do and possibly radiation treatment before the surgery.

As for how they found it, the Eagles' doctors ordered an MRI when Harrison told them he'd been suffering from headaches. Apparently he'd told the Lions' doctors, but they'd come to some other conclusion.