Arguably the most competitive division in the NFL is the NFC South. The Cowboys, Giants and Eagles have been going at it for about half a decade, and the Redskins are resurging to compete as well. However, the NFC North can be just as good, if not better, especially if the Detroit Lions propose a trade to the Jacksonville Jaguars for disgruntled running back Maurice Jones-Drew.
Detroit drafted running back Mikel Leshoure in the second round of last years’ draft, which many believed was a steal. Unfortunately, Leshoure missed his entire rookie season and has not shown any promise yet in this years’ preseason. They also drafted Jahvid Best in the first round of the 2010 draft. But Jahvid has been battling concussions since his last year at Cal. The Lions were forced to re-sign free agent running back Kevin Smith to be their leading back after losing their two most promising backs. We still do not know what Leshoure is capable of, and Best is more than likely headed to the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, meaning he won’t participate in a game until after week six. So the question comes up: should the Detroit Lions present a trade to the Jacksonville Jaguars for running back MJD?
New Jaguars owner Shad Khan envisions the organization going in a new direction, away from their old mediocre days of going 9-7 or worse. Whether Maurice Jones-Drew is in the future of the organization or not, he has to report to the team facility and play out the remaining two years of his contract. Khan refuses to give MJD a new contract, and MJD refuses to report to the team without one. With the regular season one week away, and the Detroit Lions looking frail at the running back position, why not propose a trade?
The trio of Mathew Stafford, Maurice Jones-Drew and Calvin Johnson might be the best we’ve seen in almost two decades with the Dallas Cowboys’ Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin. Khan has his mind set on the future of the Jaguars and MJD is planting shades of grey on Khan’s clear white line. A proposal from Detroit of Mikel Leshoure and a first or second round draft pick for Maurice Jones Drew may or may not be enough to lure the Jags to accept the trade, but it will definitely get their attention.
In his six seasons in the NFL, MJD has rushed for over 6,800 yards and over 2,400 receiving yards; that is an unheard of average of more than 1,200 rushing and 600 receiving yards each season. Detroit could use him, as teams are tending to bracket Calvin Johnson, double team Brandon Pettigrew and Nate Burleson is getting older. Their running game is almost extinct. To have a running back like MJD draw the attention of defenses as he does with Calvin Johnson, Brandon Pettigrew and even Titus Young and Tony Scheffler; Detroit’s offensive weapons can put up unfathomable statistics.
Detroit’s defensive back seven is suspect. Their defensive line can only do much, so the team relies on their offense to put up big numbers and they’ll try their best to stick to the method of a “bend, don’t break” defense. Not sure if we can expect to see Detroit back in the playoffs this season, because the Bears are a lot of peoples’ preseason favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl (including mine), and Aaron Rodgers is still young and I am not sure if Detroit can pose a threat to Green Bay with that defense of theirs. Adding Maurice Jones-Drew to their flew of weapons will put their name not only in the conversation of playoff contention, but maybe even in conversations to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
Trading your draft picks can be detrimental in the long run. But in certain cases like this one, it will be a benefit for the entire Lions organization. Free Agents will be more willing to sign with the Lions knowing they can be a contender almost every year like the Eagles and 49ers lured in free agents in 2011. That will benefit them from giving up one, two or maybe even three future draft picks for MJD.
Running Backs have the shortest careers in the NFL in comparison to any other position in the NFL. Jones-Drew is only twenty-seven years old. He may have anywhere from three to six good years left in him. If Jim Schwartz and the Lions are serious about becoming contenders, it would be smart of them to propose a trade to the Jacksonville Jaguars for Maurice Jones Drew.
That is my take. What do you think?