After losing Breece Hall, the New York Jets moved quickly to find a replacement, trading for Jaguars standout James Robinson on Monday.
Even the most ardent New York Jets fans probably didn’t predict that this team would start out the season with a 5-2 record, but that’s precisely where Gang Green stands after their Week 7 road win over the Denver Broncos. That victory, however, was quite costly on the injury front.
Rookie second-round running back Breece Hall — who had been phenomenal to start his NFL career — suffered a torn ACL and meniscus damage in the win over Denver. Not only that, but former first-round pick Alijah Vera-Tucker also suffered a season-ending injury, which could greatly affect the offense.
In the wake of the fantastic beginning to the season, though, the Jets wasted no time in trying to replace Hall in the backfield as they phoned up the Jacksonville Jaguars and made a trade for running back James Robinson, as reported by NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
Sources: The #Jets are making a big trade, acquiring #Jaguars RB James Robinson to help replaced injured RB Breece Hall. Draft pick compensation is going back to the Jags.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 24, 2022
James Robinson trade details: Jets send Jaguars conditional draft picks
Here’s a look at what the trade looks like for New York and Jacksonville, per Ian Rapoport.
RB James Robinson
Conditional 6th Round Pick
The conditions are not completely clear at this time, but what we do know is that it could become a fifth-round pick if certain terms are met. It’s also not clear but we can assume that this is a 2023 NFL Draft pick being traded. Meanwhile, the Jets obviously get Robinson in this deal with the Jaguars.
But that leaves the big question: How did these teams fare in this deal.
NFL trade grade: Jets make smart swing to keep hot start rolling
Losing Hall and Vera-Tucker is a tough blow to an offense that, though not the worst in the league, has seen plenty of growing pains. Thus, if New York wanted to keep up their hot start to the 2022 season after coming out of the gates at 5-2, they needed to find an RB1 to lead the way for Michael Carter and the rest of the backfield. Robinson is more than capable of that.
Robinson was simply not the high-upside option nor the type of hefty investment in Jacksonville that the team had in Travis Etienne. But when Robinson has been on the field over the past few years, he’s been productive, despite the Jags having offensive issues of their own over that time span.
So for the Jets to get a player who is a restricted free agent after the year for a Day 3 pick in their current situation is an absolute steal. This front office continues to impress and this is another example.
The only thing that keeps this from being a full-blown “A” or “A+” is the presence of Carter already on the roster, but it’s clear they believe he’s a change-of-pace back more than a true No. 1 option, which still leaves the club getting high marks for the Robinson trade.
Jets Trade Grade: A-
NFL trade grade: Jaguars get something in return for James Robinson
As mentioned, it’s become abundantly clear in recent weeks that the plan in Jacksonville is to hand the keys to the backfield over to Etienne given that the front office used a first-round pick on the former Clemson running back. With Robinson on the final year of his rookie deal and becoming a restricted free agent at the end of this season, that ultimately made him expendable.
Given that the other 31 teams in the league probably knew this, what the Jaguars simply needed to do was find something that could be of more value to the organization and the future than Robinson leaving after the season for nothing.
Make no mistake, a conditional sixth-round pick isn’t going to change the Jags forever, but it’s something that gives them another dart to throw at the board late in the draft to possibly hit on a player (or package in a future trade). That’s a fine, albeit unspectacular, return for Robinson in this specific situation.
Jaguars Trade Grade: B-