Potential MJD trade partners
October, 15, 2013
By Tom Carpenter | ESPN.com
Arguably, there isn't a more obvious trade candidate leading up to the NFL's Oct. 29 trade deadline than Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew. His contract is up at season's end, the Jags will be in full rebuilding mode this offseason, and there is virtually no chance he will be back with the team in 2014. In other words, there is basically no reason why the Jags wouldn't want to deal him away.
The bigger question is whether there is another team out there willing to give up something for a half-season rental of a 28-year-old running back who is averaging just 2.9 yards per carry and has 1,965 career touches worth of wear and tear on his body. In MJD's defense, he averaged 4.8 yards per carry last season -- his highest mark since his rookie campaign -- before a foot injury ended his season early. Plus, his offensive line is the worst run-blocking unit in the NFL. If a general manager believes MJD could succeed in his team's system, perhaps he would deal for him.
Here are some teams that could be interested:
- New York Jets: The Jets suddenly appear to be a potential playoff contender. While coach Rex Ryan is a firm supporter of Bilal Powell, they just lost Mike Goodson to a knee injury, and Chris Ivory has barely factored into the mix. Perhaps the Jets would be willing to make a splash trade to add the veteran MJD. Who knows, he could even re-sign with them if things click.
- Dallas Cowboys: If DeMarco Murray is slow to recover from his sprained knee and rookie Joseph Randle flops in his stead, it wouldn't be surprising to see Jerry Jones make a play for MJD to shore up the team's rushing attack.
- St. Louis Rams: They have gotten some quality play out of rookie RB Zac Stacy the past couple of weeks, so making a play for Jones-Drew might be a reach for the Rams. On the other hand, coach Jeff Fisher will want a long-term answer at running back, so we may see the Rams and MJD in contact during the offseason, if one of their current crew doesn't step up as the season progresses.
- San Diego Chargers: Ryan Mathews finally showed up with a 100-yard game Monday night, so that could put a damper on any trade thoughts the club might have had. On the other hand, Mathews is prone to injury, and you'd be hard-pressed to not call MJD an upgrade over Mathews. Pairing Jones-Drew up with Philip Rivers could make them legit playoff contenders if MJD really does have some gas left in the tank.