New York Jets: How Maurice Jones-Drew Could Save This Entire Season
By now, there is little faith in this multiple back system where the Jets pound the ball. The blocking is inconsistent and the backs are weak. The utilization of Tim Tebow probably won't save this offense from being close to a cellar-dweller.
However, there is one acquisition that could save this team before it sinks on a sinking ship.
That acquisition would be to somehow pry Maurice Jones-Drew out of Jacksonville's hands. Now content with Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne, the Jaguars might let this trade go by without inquiring about Tim Tebow.
The question is, what would it take to acquire a top-five running back in the NFL? Well, a player like Thomas Jones (who was a top-15 running back when he was traded to New York) was acquired for a swap of second-round picks. So, I'd say Maurice Jones-Drew is worth a second, fourth and Bilal Powell.
A second and a fourth is a good trade as the Jaguars currently have no leverage with Maurice Jones-Drew. The addition of Bilal Powell gives the Jaguars an in-between-the-tackles player who can learn a lot, and depending on who you ask, is a decent prospect. What would happen if the Jets took on a playmaking, 1,980-yard player who just had 11 touchdowns?
Well, quite simply the sky's the limit. Shonn Greene would finally be allowed to bruise and only come in sometimes, while Maurice Jones-Drew would be running for first downs like no other (he had 75 last season). He could be that relief for Mark Sanchez, just how LaDainian Tomlinson was used last year.
Suddenly, the offense has a completely new look, one where Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez are rarely forced to throw the ball. On first and second down, runs to Shonn Greene and Maurice Jones-Drew. On third-and-short, Sanchez will quickly search for an open receiver.
This acquisition would also help Wayne Hunter as an offensive tackle. His duties as a pass protector would be much smaller with Sanchez always having that quick checkdown pass to MoJo.
Lastly, Maurice Jones-Drew would want a fat contract as he is quickly aging in a league where backs are finished at 30. For this reason, the Jets would need to add a decent salary player to gain more cap room, as they currently have only $6 million to spend.
Adding Eric Smith into this package deal would definitely help, although I think he could be a good strong safety for the Jets next season. In Jacksonville, he'd be reunited with Dwight Lowery, and they have a lot of shared playing time. In trading Smith, $2.05 million would be saved, allowing the Jets to give Maurice Jones-Drew a generous $8 million per season.
Trade Offer: New York Jets send Bilal Powell, Eric Smith, a second-round pick and a fourth round pick to Jacksonville for Maurice Jones-Drew
Resulting Contract Extension: 5 years, $33 million ($6.6 million cap hit)
So, what do you think of this trade? I personally think it'd answer all offensive woes, as the Jets would be very successful running the ball as a result. Leave your thoughts in the comments section and thanks for reading!
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