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The Jay Gray Blog

Posted: 6:40 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011

Should The Jags Trade Mojo 

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By Jay Gray

Some may find this blog very controversial today but hear me out before you pass judgment. The Jags have been in the process of rebuilding for years and I know many people will say they are close but if this season proves anything they still have a long way to go. The Jags play one of the toughest schedules of any team this year and they are 3-9 proving they aren’t winning against the top teams in the league. Next season could be one of the biggest overhauls this team has ever seen. They will have a new owner, new head coach, and a bunch of new players. The Jags definitely need help at receiver, cornerback, pass rush, and the o line isn’t getting any younger. With all that being said why not trade Maurice Jones Drew?

Blasphemy!!! But seriously the only player on this team with any type of trade value is Mojo and his trade value will never be higher than it is right now. Think about it the Jags have no passing attack at all, every team knows the Jags will run the ball yet Jones Drew still finds a way to lead the league in rushing. Now I know he is the only offensive weapon the Jags have but sometimes you have to make a bold move in order to improve the team as a whole. Perfect example is the Dallas and Minnesota deal in the early 90’s. Dallas gave up running back Herschel Walker (one of the best at the time) and got a whole bunch of draft picks in return. That one trade allowed the Cowboys to grab Emmitt Smith and young players that helped them build the dynasty of 3 Super bowl wins in 4 years. Problem is nobody is going to make such a huge trade anymore but that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t at minimum a first and second round pick for Jones Drew.

Probably about now you’re saying to yourself that Mojo is the face of this franchise and you can’t trade that away and still be successful. Another great example is this year’s Cincinnati Bengals. They were a team a lot like the Jags, 1 playoff appearance in the last 5 years but most of the time they are on the outside looking in. Their face of the franchise could either be Chad Ochocinco or Carson Palmer, Cincy decided to get rid of both those guys this year and put their faith in a rookie QB, ok running back, and good defense. So far so good, Bengals are 7-5 and in line for a playoff berth.

If I was playing GM this off season here is what I would do. Trade Mojo for a first and second round pick. I’d use my own first rounder which should be a top 5 pick on wide receiver from Oklahoma State Justin Blackmon then on the second first rounder grab a good cornerback. With the two second rounder I would take a pass rusher and running back. Obviously the rest of the draft would be used to fill some holes and in free agency I would take one of the many great receivers in this year’s deep class. In this scenario the Jags would have one of the most explosive offenses in the AFC south and improve on an already good defense in one season.

Sure the Jags could do the same thing if they keep Jones Drew but it would take longer and how many great seasons does he really have left. The average career of an NFL running back is under 3 years mostly because they take such a beating each and every week. Mojo takes more abuse because he is such a big part of the offense. It’s just like the stock market, buy low and sell high, Mojo has the highest value right now and even though it would be sad to see him go the Jags maybe better off in the long run.  This might be hard to hear for a lot of Jags fans but for all the yards, all the touchdowns, and all the dreeeewwww chants the Maurice Jones Drew based offense hasn’t resulted in many wins. You can argue that is because of bad coaching or poor role players around him but there is no argument that whatever the reason it something isn’t working. Maybe changing this team to a pass first offense will help them compete with Houston, Indy (with Manning), and New England.