The New York Jets are going for it. A day after losing rookie running back Breece Hall for the season, they acquired a veteran back who can do a lot of the same things: Jacksonville Jaguars RB James Robinson.
And this isn’t some 11-week rental. The Jets will control Robinson’s rights through 2023 if they wish. He is set to become a restricted free agent after the season. The Jets inherit the remainder of his 2022 contract — which, at just $550,000 for 11 games, is a great value.
Grading the Trade: Jets Acquire James Robinson From Jaguars
The terms of the trade, per SNYtv: a conditional sixth-round pick that can become a fifth if certain thresholds are met. The move will leave the Jets with six picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. Meanwhile, the Jaguars add to what was already an impressive Day 3 haul. They’ll own seven picks between Rounds 4 and 7 next April.
Jets Trade For Robinson
It’s hard to overstate how important Hall was for the Jets’ offense. He led the Jets in offensive touches (99), yards from scrimmage (681), carries (80), rushing yards (463), yards per carry (5.8, minimum 10 attempts), rushing touchdowns (4) and offensive touchdowns (5).
Quite simply, the Jets would not be 5-2 without him.
And while Robinson isn’t quite the same player, he certainly can fill many of the same roles. In his three-year career — all spent with the Jaguars — he has averaged 4.5 yards per carry and caught 89 passes for 612 yards.
The move allows the Jets to continue to use Michael Carter in a part-time capacity. Carter has taken a step back after an excellent rookie season, seeing a decrease this year in yards per carry (4.3 to 3.5) and yards per catch (9 to 7.6).
While Robinson’s numbers this year aren’t what they’ve been in years past, a fresh start could unlock the best of him. And if it doesn’t, the Jets gave up next to nothing in compensation and cap space to acquire him and can move on after this season.
Jaguars Move On From Robinson
Astute observers might have had an inkling something was up with Robinson when he was totally absent from the Jaguars’ offensive game plan in their Week 7 loss to the Giants.
He didn’t get on the field until late in the first quarter and finished the day with zero carries and zero catches on 12 snaps.
Robinson has been supplanted by Travis Etienne as RB1 and barring injury, he had no chance to get that job back. Etienne went for 114 yards on 14 carries Sunday.
Etienne, the former first-round pick, has been the most efficient ball carrier that the Jags have had this year. And so the Jaguars got something for a guy that wasn’t really in their plans the rest of this year, and certainly not in their plans next year.
If there is a reason to quibble, it’s this: If Etienne gets hurt again, the Jaguars will have to finish the season with the likes of Snoop Conner and JaMychal Hasty. But in truth, their season would be over in that scenario anyway, so at that point, it’s best they build for 2023.
Robinson’s Fresh Start
This trade might make Robinson a lot of money. He was on track to hit free agency as a spare part. Now he has a chance to get paid — assuming he can come close to replicating Hall’s production.
Plus, he goes from a team that’s lost four straight to a team that’s won four straight. Sure, the cost of living is higher in NY/NJ, but that’s the definition of a First World problem.
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