Oakland Raiders: Should the Raiders trade for Felix Jones?
Jimmy Hal – Aug 1, 2012
The work horse for the Oakland Raider offense is undoubtedly Darren McFadden. There is no doubt that McFadden is a franchise running back similar to the likes of Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, Arain Foster of the Houston Texans and Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
In terms of pure talent, McFadden may be the best running back in the National Football League. The only problem is that McFadden has earned the label of being fragile. That is a hard image to get rid of once it is given to a player.
For the Raiders, the question is not, if McFadden gets hurt, but when. Despite his injury history, McFadden is too much of a weapon to be used part time. Still, the Raiders do need to find a solution should McFadden go down once again.
As training camp begins, the competition between second year running back Taiwan Jones and veteran Mike Goodson will be closely watched. Jones is motivated to show his team he can be a reliable back up. Jones also dealt with injury in 2011, while also struggling in pass protection as most rookie running backs do. He did have a great performance against the New Orleans Saints in the preseason, now is the time to improve upon that performance.
Mike Goodson was one of Reggie McKenzie's earliest roster moves. Trading away the physical specimen that was Bruce Campbell for Goodson's was seen as a solid decision for both sides of the trade. Goodson has been seen as a player who has not been given the chance to show his talents behind the duo of Deangelo Williams and Johnathan Stewart of the Carolina Panthers.
Despite having three running backs on the roster, the Raiders are assumed to still be in the market for help at that position. The Raiders kicked the tires on Cedric Benson and are rumored to be intrigued by Ryan Grant.
But should the Raiders make a move for Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones? Unlike Benson or Grant, Jones is not a free agent, so if the Raiders are interested a trade would be inminent. But would it be worth it?
Though Felix Jones is a former first round pick, he has not become a franchise running back like the Cowboys anticipated. So what would Jones go for in a trade? Consider the Raiders acquired Aaron Curry, a former top five pick for the Seattle Seahawks after two years of service for merely a seventh round pick. With Jones going into his fifth NFL season in a contract year, it is hard to believe the Dallas Cowboys would ask for anything more than a sixth round pick.
With his former college teammate McFadden on the roster, Jones may enjoy the relocation that is the east bay. McFadden and Jones made a great combination during their tenure at Arkansas. Similar to the Raiders signing Matt Leinart for Carson Palmer's comfort, Jones could be that same safety net for the face of Raiders the franchise.
Though Jones battled a shoulder injury, he was productive in 2011. Jones collected 127 carries for 575 rushing yards with an average of 4.5 yards per carry, while playing in twelve games.
With that production, is Felix Jones even on the market?
There were rumors that Jones was on the trading block earlier in the offseason, but the Dallas Cowboys organization immediately denied those rumors. With the emergence of Demarco Murray last season and Jones failing his conditioning test, maybe their stance has changed.
A skill position player who failed a conditioning test is probably not the kind of player that would attract McKenzie, but still, it is an intriguing possibility. With Mike Goodson suffering a hamstring injury on the second day of camp, the severity of which is not yet known, the Raiders are indeed in the market for new running back blood.
Logic would suggest that a call to Ryan Grant could be coming soon, as McKenzie has an existing familiarity with the free agent, but a trade for Felix Jones would not be a bad idea.
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