Felix Jones on the Trade Block?
Rumors emerged two days ago that Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones could be had via trade. In fact, with last year’s rookie sensation DeMarco Murray establishing himself as an every down back, the often injured Jones seemed to be less needed heading into 2012.
However, according to owner Jerry Jones’ son, Stephen Jones, a Jones trade hasn’t even been discussed internally. In fact, Jones is expected to have a big role in the offense next season.
Maybe he will, and maybe he won’t. It’s pretty rare that an NFL executive openly admits if a player indeed is being talked about in regards to trades, but there’s also little reason to not believe Jones. Still, I thought it was at least worth looking at.
If Jones does get traded, where could he end up going in 2012? Here’s five teams that make a lot of sense:
Note: This is mere speculation, as trade rumors have been shot down and no teams have been openly tied to Jones.
Jones began to prove last season that he very well may have what it takes to be a feature back in this league. His stats aren’t eye-popping and his injury history is discouraging, but he’s still just 24 and he has a very high ceiling. That could be enough for the Steelers to take a good, hard look at trading for him. After all, Rashard Mendenahll’s 2012 season is in doubt after tearing his ACL late last season, and Isaac Redman isn’t the sexiest of options to deploy as your starting back. It’s a little far-fetched, but not totally crazy.
Peyton Hillis is gone and Montario Hardesty doesn’t look to be the long-term answer. If the Browns aren’t sold on drafting Trent Richardson (even though they ought to be), and are thinking about drafting Ryan Tannehill or Justin Blackmon, perhaps they get their new running back via trade.
Willis McGahee is old, relatively slow, and wants more money. Knowshon Moreno is inconsistent, sometimes ineffective, and coming off of a major injury. John Fox likes to roll with two running backs when possible, and right now he arguably has just one. I personally think he and the Broncos still make some kind of play for Carolina’s Jonathan Stewart, but if that doesn’t work out, Jones wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize to pair with McGahee.
Cedric Benson was allowed to walk into free agency, and for good reason. But the Bengals haven’t done a terrific job (in my opinion) replacing him. BenJarvus Green-Ellis doesn’t fumble the rock (zero in his career. crazy, I know), but he’s otherwise a pretty boring back to watch. After that, you have Bernard Scott and Brian Leonard. Let the fireworks go off, right? It’s not a likely trade, but the Bengals could certainly use a jolt in their back-field, and Jones could supply it.
Green Bay Packers
Clearly the least likely in terms of realistic trade partners. First, because they’re in the NFC (and Jerry Jones is smarter than that. I think.), and also because Ted Thompson isn’t into trades. Still, the Packers have a stable of average running backs; none of which are consistent homerun hitters. Jones would instantly be the most versatile and explosive back on their team, and would help open up one of the league’s best offenses even more. Unlikely, but it would still be a pretty good fit.