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Mojo GoGo?: Potential Landing Spots If the Jags Choose the Trade Route

By Brettclancy @thebrettclancy

I just said in my last post, here that Maurice Jones-Drew has indicated that he’s open to being traded. It’s not terribly likely, but for the sake of argument I’d like to round up the usual suspects and speculate a bit on where MJD could be headed. Because of his talent level I consider almost no one off limits…that said there’s an awful lot of teams that seem set at the position, but hey this is all for fun anyway.

Broncos – I know, I don’t especially like the move in the wake of Willis McGahee’s breakout 2011 season, but Willis is about to turn 30 and Broncos head of football operations John Elway revealed a penchant for small explosive runners with the drafting of Ronnie Hillman in the 3rd round of this years draft and the addition of Peyton Manning this offseason says the team’s not afraid of making a splash. The Broncos are already becoming early season favorites to win the division adding Jones Drew could put them over the top. Oh, and just in case his play doesn’t speak for itself MJD’s long time coach in Jacksonville Jack Del Rio is now the Defensive coordinator in Denver. I’m thinking McGahee ends up part of this trade. Broncos have some young guys in the stable and the Jags could use a veteran runner since MJDs departure leaves Rashad Jennings the lead back and while he’s looked good in preseason he’s never had to carry the load of a full season.

Patriots - I consider this pretty unlikely. But people also thought the Patriots using both their first round picks (rather than trading one to add additional late round picks as history would suggest.) The cost would likely be too high, but it would be an incredible move. MJD is essentially the Patriots top 3 backs (Ridley, Vereen, Woodhead) rolled into one and multiplied by two. Ridley and Vereen haven’t exactly exploded in the preseason (not that they’ve had much chance with limited snaps and Brady and select other starters sitting out all but a series so far) Packaging a pick with either Vereen or Ridley will give the Pats a legitimate running threat (and pass catching threat out of the backfield) The big contract MJD would likely want as part of the trade is not exactly in line with Patriots thinking, especially with Welker still waiting on a deal and Aaron Hernandez a few years away from needing a new contract the Pats may want to hold on to their cap space…then again maybe Jones-Drew doesn’t mind his current contract so much playing for a perennial playoff team and Superbowl contender.

Redskins – Owner Daniel Snyder has been very good about letting Head Coach Mike Shannahan and General Manager Bruce Allen make the football decisions and kept his paychecks under control, but MJD may just be that perfect combination of big splashy name and youthful talent that would make everyone happy. The Redskins stable has no shortage of talented young running backs to help fuel the trade (Hightower, Helu, Royster)…Draft picks is a bit of an issue with the next two years first rounders going to the Rams in RG3 trade and the team still looking to build, but perhaps Santana Moss or even recent acquisition Josh Morgan could be used to make the deal worthwhile for a Jaguars WR group that gets thin quick after rookie Justin Blackmon and a somewhat unlucky in injuries Laurent Robinson.

Jets - Every other story this offseason seems to involve the Jets anyway, so why not put them on the list. the move actually could make sense. We know the Jets want to get back to the “ground and pound” and that’s just as well with the OL making any attempts at a pass attack look doomed to fail. Whether you like Shonn Greene or not (complete disclosure, I don’t) you have to admit MJD would be a major upgrade. I like Joe McKnight (of that first Jets camp fight fame) as the Jets trade piece as I think his skill set could pair nicely with Jennings in Jacksonville.

Any Other Team that Loses a Back for the Season Early - I’m going to call this the “Carson Palmer Plan.” If Jones-Drew is serious and holds out into the season, and none of the teams above (or others not mentioned) comes calling with a trade deal that sweeps the Jags off their feet it could take an injury to another team’s star to up the ante for a team looking to make a playoff run (just imagine if the Chiefs could have landed MJD to play for Charles after he tore his ACL) The problem here is Carson Palmer cost a lot to acquire and didn’t exactly pay immediate dividends. Yes MJD plays RB not QB but Chris Johnson didn’t exactly light it up after ending his holdout (the numbers really weren’t bad but he wasn’t dominant and his team missed the playoffs.) The real issue is the same one I mentioned with New England, giving MJD a big money contract particularly if the team already has money invested in another back.

All in all the market isn’t great. Especially with Foster, Rice, and McCoy all inking new deals this year, but Maurice Jones-Drew is so good I can’t imagine no one wants him. I also can’t imagine the Jags are dying to get rid of him. But if ever there was a time to trade your star running back it’s in a year that sees the organization take on a new owner, GM, and coaching staff and a roster that starts to click without him in camp.

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