Dec 5, 2011; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew (32) reacts after scoring on a 9-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter against the San Diego Chargers at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

New England Patriots Welker For MJD a Possible Trade?

I know many Patriots fans get irked when I bring up my prediction of Wes Welker being traded this season. He is playing on a franchise tag this season and will become a free-agent again at the end of next season. The talks between the organization and Welker were so far apart that I doubt a deal will surface, but I digress. My leading trade prediction would be Welker (and perhaps low draft picks) for Percy Harvin of the Minnesota Vikings. However, the past few months have passed without the Jacksonville Jaguars reaching a new contract with star RB Maurice Jones-Drew. Perhaps he could end up on the Patriots’ radar?

Jaguars owner Shad Khan has said the train was leaving the station and MJD better get on board. Most fans could interpret that as saying, “Hey, either take the money we offer, or we’ll ship you out without looking back.” In light of these comments, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that MJD is now open to a trade. Let’s face it, if you were him, wouldn’t you want out of Jacksonville too? The team is in a bad market and struggles to avoid a blackout every week, plus it doesn’t help that the team has struggled consistently. MJD is the face of the franchise and was the league’s leading rusher last year with 1606 yards, but the Jags clearly aren’t going anywhere even with his help. Why not trade for a few pieces that could actually help their franchise grow?

A similar situation took place in the NHL this past season with the Columbus Blue Jackets trading their star player Rick Nash. A team that struggles year in and year out, the Jackets traded Nash to the New York Rangers for three players and a draft pick. They realized that one star player wouldn’t help their franchise, but perhaps three developed players would. The same could be said of the Jaguars. The Jaguars would certainly ask for everything but the kitchen sink for MJD, but the Patriots do have valuable players to spare. Right now there are three very competent WRs in Donte’ Stallworth, Jabar Gaffney, and Deion Branch competing for the #3 spot on the Patriots roster. One is certain to get cut and will be a valuable pickup for another team. The Patriots also have a plentiful backfield with Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Danny Woodhead, and the rookie Brandon Bolden. This veritable cornucopia of  players may entice the Jaguars into a trade. Blaine Gabbert could really use the offensive weapons to help him develop into a good quarterback.

Now, it’s not like the Patriots absolutely need MJD, but there are definite benefits. Bill Belichick wants to help lighten Brady’s load this year by running the ball more. Whether we can actually tell on the field or not, Brady is getting older and the Patriots want to preserve his health. Enter Maurice Jones-Drew. Another benefit is Drew’s blocking ability. For a guy that’s only 5′ 7″, he can block like it’s nobody’s business. He’s great insurance in case our offensive line is under pressure. I’d like to see Ridley make blocks like this guy can. If the Patriots were to trade for Maurice Jones-Drew, they would likely have to give up Welker, and either one of the three previously mentioned WRs (likely Stallworth) or one of the RBs (perhaps Vereen). I know player-for-player trades in the NFL are usually uncommon, but it is definitely something to think about. Both teams would benefit from the trade, so perhaps it is not too far fetched. I don’t know about you, but the thought of MJD and Tom Brady controlling our offense is as amazing as a shiny Lombardi trophy.

Tell me your thoughts!

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Tags: Jacksonville Jaguars Maurice Jones-Drew New England Patriots

  • Joe Soriano

    That’s an interesting proposal. I doubt it happens, but it’s fun to speculate. Actually, the Patriots could get MJD, but I bet it would involve draft picks in addition to players.

    Anyway, the Jaguars would probably be willing to pay Wes Welker the money he wants. They have a good backup running back, so they can make him a starter and add Vereen as a backup. If they want to trade with the Patriots, I doubt they want to bag two wide receivers. I know people who are suggesting an MJD trade for the Pats are saying they should deal Hernandez, but that’s absolutely ludicrous. Trading Welker and Vereen for MJD makes sense, if the Patriots think they can’t get a deal done with Welk. What they would have to do then is utilize Hernandez more in the slot, and it adds greater importance to Julian Edelman.

    I mean, if this deal were to happen, the Pats would need to believe in Edelman’s skillset and MJD. I mean, MJD is 27 so he still has three good years left on him (maybe the same amount as Welker does at 31). The fact that MJD was able to be the league’s leading rusher with that line in front of him is certainly impressive, and he would be a big weapon for the Pats.

    The question is, which trade scenario is better? Welker and Vereen for MJD or Welker straight up for Harvin? The latter is something I doubt the Vikings accept as a rebuilding team, but the Jaguars would sure love to have a great receiver and a backup running back to help replenish the depth lost by trading MJD.

    All interesting questions that have been raised by this post.

  • Professor Frink

    Why would the Jaguars be interested? MJD is more productive, younger, costs less and is under contract for longer then Welker. I have no doubt the Patriots would do that deal in a heartbeat, but it’s never gonna happen.

    • omfsmtim

      The Jags would be interested because a solid slot WR would help Gabbert run the offense and develop. They would also get draft picks from New England in addition to Welker, which would help their franchise in the long run, which is perfect since they don’t have a short-term answer. MJD will not cost less than Welker though, not even close.

      • unclealfie

        “MJD will not cost less than Welker”? Completely false.
        Welker is currently playing under a franchise agreement for $10 million/year. MJD was to make $4.5 Mil under the contract he was sitting out, less than half of Welker’s deal.

    • unclealfie

      More productive than what? MJD has caught fewer that 100 passes over the past two years; Welker has led the league in receptions for two years, gaining almost three thousand yards, so Welker is actually much more productive than MJD.
      But the whole point of the trade proposal is that the Jaguars are despirate for WRs and the Pats are stacked with them.

  • The_Ryan

    So much for that theory. Gaffney and Stallworth got cut by the Pats. I think an addition like that will be so awesome. Its been awhile since the Patriots had a real threat at running back. And i dont think Brady has the same year he had last with the O-line looking badddd…

    • omfsmtim

      yea this theory got cut short a bit by those cuts although I believe Gaffney will return as will Branch. The O-line will improve so don’t worry about that. Once Waters returns (his return looks immanent) the line will come together