Steelers Swing Trade For RB Felix Jones
With Rookie running back Le’Veon Bell out with a midfoot sprain the Pittsburgh Steelers traded outside linebacker Adrian Robinson to the Philadelphia Eagles for veteran running back Felix Jones. Bell’s injury was given two opinions and both had concluded that no surgery was necessary. Bell is expected to miss possibly the first two or three weeks of the regular season.
At first glance, the move seems rather obvious as to add a verteran guy like Jones as a little bit of extra insurance. We’ve seen Jones in the past with the Cowboys coming off the bench and adding some spark to the offense. He still has a little gas left in the tank so to speak.
What’s surprising is that the Steelers have a ton of depth and experience at running back. You may remember last year, with Rashard Mendenhall out to begin the season, the Steelers relied on Isaac Redman to carry the load; and he did a pretty good job. This year, the Steelers RB depth chart looks like: Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer, Larod Stephens-Howling and Baron Batch. The list is pretty deep and has a good amount of experience. So why did they need another running back?
I have to wonder about this move by the Steelers. First, adding yet another running back to this roster implies insurance but almost makes me think the Steelers are a little more afraid of the injury than they are leading on. This concerns me if I’ve already drafted or am targeting Bell in my draft this year.
Second, what message does this send to the already stacked depth of running back reserves? I would think the Steelers would have been content starting the season with Redman and Dwyer as their main guys while leaning on Stephens-Howling on occasion. Adding a guy like Jones seems like a desperation move; as if they have a low confidence in any of their reserve backs.
If you have already picked Bell, it’s going to be interesting going forward and the Steelers’ backfield could be like musical chairs. Otherwise it maight just be wise to stay away from Bell and anyone else the Steelers have at running back for now. Best to just see which cream rises to the top.