Steeler Nation, The Steelers gave us a bit of a surprise today when they announced a trade was made with the Philadelphia Eagles. That fact in itself was a surprise as the Steelers rarely make trades. So what was the details of the deal?
I know what your thinking, did they get a tight end ? Offensive lineman?
Well that may be even a bigger surprise as the Steelers traded reserve linebacker Adrian Robinson to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for running back Felix Jones.
Lately the Steelers have been decimated by injuries at the running back position. The list includes Isaac Redman(stinger/shoulder), LaRod Stephens-Howling(knee) Baron Batch(stinger) and Le’Veon Bell (knee / foot)
Felix Jones (5-10 215) came out of Arkansas with quite the pedigree entering the NFL as a first round pick and the 22nd player taken in the 2008 draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Jones spent five seasons with the Cowboys totaling 2,728 rushing yards on 569 attempts (4.6 avg.) with 11 touchdowns and 1,062 receiving yards on 127 receptions (8.4 avg.) and three touchdowns.
Jones can also return kicks 64 for 1,534 yards (24.0 avg.) and one touchdown.
Jones has shown flashes of skill in rushing, receiving and special teams. Jones is the only player since 2008 in the NFL to post a 60 yard touchdown run, a 70 yard touchdown reception and a 90 yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Jones’ biggest problem during his career so far has been injuries. During his time with the Cowboys he could never seem to stay healthy. He signed as a free agent to the Eagles this off-season.
So what does the arrival of Felix Jones mean ?
Well with all the injuries the Steelers have at the running back position may be the Steelers felt they needed another capable back to insure themselves until Bell and others are healthy.
Coach Tomlin did say in his press conference yesterday LaRod Stephens-Howling(knee) returned to practice but did not finish. Maybe his knee is worse than first thought.
Another way to look at it is maybe the Steelers seen a deal worth taking a chance on and maybe they are looking to get rid of Jonathan Dwyer or Isaac Redman before the season. Felix Jones would be a cheaper option . Jones signed with the Eagles for $780,000. Redman is making $1.32 million in 2013. Jonathan Dwyer is also making $1.32 million in 2013.
If Jones stays healthy he is easily at least equal if not a better option than Redman or Dwyer as depth and don’t forget he is a very capable kick returner. The Steelers could save about $500,000 by getting rid of one of those $1.3 million contracts and the talent would not drop off much if any at all.
Many reporters have said they would not read much into the Steelers acquiring Felix Jones and that he may be lucky to make the final 53 man roster.
In my opinion I don’t think the Steelers make trades for players they plan on getting rid of anytime soon and Jones would have to really disappoint for the Steelers to decide that he doesn’t make the team.
Remember Steeler Nation, this is all speculation and only the Steelers know what their plans truly are. We shall soon see one way or the other.