April 24, 2014

Trade for MJD? I Doubt It.

When Jones-Drew’s agent announced that the outstanding running back is open to being traded, you could almost hear the collective eyebrows of the Bengals fans everywhere raise a bit, eyes fixed on empty space as we considered the immensity of such a possibility. He would immediately make the Bengals the favorites to win the AFC North, if not more.

Sorry, folks, it ain’t gonna happen. For more than one reason.

1. Khan needs to show strength. The last thing that the new owner of the Jags wants to show his players is that he can be bullied. Granted, no one else on the team has a smidgeon of the leverage that MJD does. Still, he has to show that he is the captain of the ship, and that means letting his best player sit out a year if he chooses, just like Mike Brown was prepared to do with CP.

2. What are you going to give up for him? Just like with baseball, you have to give to get in return. If you want to trade picks, you are talking at least a first rounder, and likely another good pick as well (2nd or 3rd?). Are you going to give up multiple picks on MJD at 27 when the upcoming draft class is one of the deepest at RB in a number of years? You pick the right guy there, and you’ve got him for a minimum of 4 years and possibly 7-8 years.

You could try to mitigate the hit to the picks by trading a player. But the Jags already have a solid defense (#6 overall in 2011), so they aren’t going to jump for joy to get Pat Sims. What they need are pass catchers. Throwing in Armon Binns, Brandon Tate or Ryan Whalen isn’t going to bring down the price much. Gresham might. Wanna go there? Didn’t think so.

3. Once he’s here, you gotta pay the man. After all, this whole situation is about him being paid like an elite RB. Sure, the Bengals have nearly $17M in cap space this year to play with. But MJD isn’t talking about one year. He is going to want a deal similar to Ray Rice’s 5-yr, $40M deal.

With that kind of hit to the cap, extending guys like Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, Jermaine Gresham, and eventually Andy Dalton and A.J. Green gets a lot harder.

4. Anyone really think Mike Brown is going to seek out a guy who is using Palmer-like threats with his current team? Me neither.

While trading for MJD would be a boon for 2012, it forces the team to deviate from its current plan for growth. And I like the way they are building this team for the long haul.