Feb 6, 2011; Arlington, TX, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace (17) during Super Bowl XLV against the Green Bay Packers at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Why The Jags Should Trade MJD For Mike Wallace

Editor’s Note:  This is a post from new B&T staff writer Brad Barrell.  The ideas posed are pretty well thought out and he will make a superb part of the community.  Please welcome him to B&T.

Let me start by saying there’s no denying the talent level and importance to the team that Maurice Jones-Drew possesses. He’s our only nationally recognizable star on a small market team, I get that.  The holdout will eventually end, I get that, too. We wouldn’t have won even 2 games without MJD carrying the offense. I know, I know… but hear me out.

This isn’t an attack on what MJD brings to the table; his work ethic, passion for the game and elite talent level are all unquestioned. This is about the fundamental change in the NFL over the last decade or so.  In today’s NFL, if you can’t pass at an elite level, you can’t win. This has become the standard, with very rare exception.  This is not breaking news by any means.

The statistic that may shock you is this: NONE of the starting running backs on the last 10 Super Bowl champions even cracked the top 10 in rushing the season their team hoisted the Lombardi trophy.

Even more alarming: Since 2003, no pro bowl running back has even made it to the super bowl. Let that sink in… With 3 backs from each conference, so 6 a year for 10 seasons, that’s 60 pro bowl appearances, ZERO Super Bowl appearances.

This goes to show just how devalued the running back position has become. Giving a hefty contract to a 27 year old running back who still has 2 years remaining on his deal just doesn’t make sense. Jacksonville is 2 years away from being a super bowl contender at best and MJD will be hitting 30 by then… The proverbial graveyard age for an NFL running back.  He knows he needs to capitalize on his value NOW.

What we need to know is the Jaguars need to capitalize on his value NOW, too.

Enter Mike Wallace and the Pittsburgh Steelers who like Jones-Drew is also holding out. Don’t forget the Steelers just rewarded Antonio Brown with a 6 year, $43 million contract,  so they are not likely going to be doing the same for Wallace anytime soon. Their star running back, Rashard Mendenhall, is likely out for the season with his torn ACL, and they have a hole in their backfield.   The Jaguars Wideouts have been lackluster since Jimmy and Keenan left… Connecting the dots yet?

How do you think Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin would feel about Big Ben handing off to Mojo? This would immediately bring back the smash-mouth “Steeler football” that they have seemingly lost touch with over the last few years by adding the reigning NFL rushing champion.

He's already showing love to the Steelers players! Source: Charles LeClaire-USPRESSWIRE

Investing in an ascending 25 year old pro bowl wide receiver in his prime that has never missed a game in his career and no off-the-field issues would  seem to fit Jaguars GM Gene Smith’s mold perfectly. He has totaled over 170 catches, 3,200 yards and  18 touchdowns over the last 2 seasons, all while averaging an incredible 19 yards per reception.  He’s arguably the best deep threat in the game today, and is a top 10 wideout in the NFL.

The big cats need to see what we have in Blaine Gabbert, and FAST. It goes without saying you either have an elite quarterback and are competing for championships, or you’re looking for the next elite quarterback… So you can start competing for championships.  Providing Blaine an unquestionably great supporting cast will immediately bring to light  whether or not he’s going to sink or swim in this league.  Acquiring Wallace would instantly give the Jaguars a top 5 wide receiving group with Mike Wallace, Laurent Robinson and Justin Blackmon, teaming with Marcedes Lewis to form a ridiculous group of weapons. Rashad Jennings showed flashes 2 seasons ago and is ready to carry the load at running back, to complement our passing arsenal, and it’s been shown that starting running backs can be found in the draft every year.

The bottom line is this: in today’s NFL, a top 10 wide receiver is far more valuable than a top 5 running back.

I, for one, would like to thank MJD for all he’s done for this franchise… and then thank him even more for allowing us to parlay an elite player at a non-premium position into a great player at a premium position. Make it happen, Gene!

Go Jags!!

- Brad Barrell

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Tags: Gene Smith Jacksonville Jaguars Maurice Jones-drew Maurice Jones-Drew Trade Mike Tomlin Mike Wallace Pittsburgh Steelers

  • LukeNSims

    All in favor?

    • G8RN

      While it seems counter-intuitive given MoJo’s talent and proven contribution to the team, this is a strategy that could provide the spark needed to help the Jags pull out of their persistent mediocrity.

  • Dave

    Trade one disgruntled player for another looking for more money? No thanks, IF trading MJD was even near a possibility, it should be for draft picks or let him get old and never see a new contract until he is almost 30. Get to camp Jones-Drew.

  • Alex

    Great article Brad! I totally agree, I was really surprised they didn’t make a play for him during Free Agency!

  • Jags4life

    I’m all for it after seeing Rashad Jennings show out at the scrimmage last night!

    Side note – crazy stat about pro bowl running backs!

  • Terry

    Great article! The Jags are faced with a head/heart decision and so many factors to consider.

  • Jose

    Great article Brad! You are my source for all things Jaguars!

  • MuhammadSchwartz

    That will happen as soon an an all black team wins the Stanley Cup.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/doug.stossel Doug Stossel

    I have read some true crap in all my years but this is a whole new level. PB does not have enough cap space to sign Wallace to the deal he thinks he is entitled to. If they dont have enough space for Wallace then how will they afford MJD ? PB does very little in free agency. Its not how the Rooney’s roll. This is amateur drivel at best. Next week : the Steelers try to Sign Peyton Manning and bring back the Bus while Mendenhall is out ! Get a new hobby…you know squat about football.

    • jwal55

      I think you are missing the whole point of the article. It’s not really about what the steelers will or won’t do as much as it is about changing the philosophy of the Jags. Who cares what the steelers will do because this is not a steelers forum is a Jags forum and the Jags need to develop their passing attack by whatever means necessary.

  • Steelcurtain

    Are you kidding me? The Steelers are so deep in real great running backs. No way the Steelers trade for a running back. Mark my words,the Rooney family will get Wallace signed for a long term deal. Wallace,Brown,Sanders and Cotchery will be the most dynamic group of wide receivers in the league. With that new O-line the run game will explode!

  • JagFanInNYC

    I have to say, I was sceptical at first, but you make some pretty great arguments! Sorry to see that some Jag fans below don’t want to grasp the reality that faces the team. Excellent points!

  • JB

    Nice read my friend and what you are saying is very true. This league is no longer about running the ball it’s about passing. That’s why most young kids today are wanting to be receivers rather then running backs. First they have longer careers and second they get more attention. Thanks and welcome to the new NFL!!

  • jwal55

    I hate to say it too but MJD might need to go. I love what MJD brought to the jags but it is indeed a passing league now so its time for a philosophy change for the jags. If we could get Mike Wallace then great but even if we can’t then trade MJD for some high draft picks or another star receiver.

  • Antonio Furgiuele

    You make a great argument, but taking MJD off the Jaguars wouldn’t be a smart move. It would make the passing attack more dynamic and Jennings has shown to hold his own, but taking the face away from the franchise will have its repercussions.

    • LukeNSims

      They are trying to make Gabbert the new face though…perhaps a mastermind conspiracy to get Gabbert to become “the man” all the much faster?

      • Gojagz

        I have no doubts that coach Mularkey’s preference would be to have Blaine Gabbert become this franchise’s star, good point!

      • ShootergirlTailgate

        I am for Gabbert becoming the man also. So yes.

  • http://twitter.com/dlago89 Daniel Lago

    You make some good points from the Jaguars’ perspective, but those same points show why it would never happen. Mike Wallace has significantly more value than MJD at this point. The Steelers would never make the trade. Mojo is more valuable to the Jags than any other team in the league.

  • BandTnyc

    Excellent! Great to hear a new perspective to the site, and a new strategy should be taken to get some wins this season, even if that means we lose MJD. Welcome to the site Mr. Barrell. I look forward to reading more.

  • AmeliaMan

    It’s a no brainer! This is a quaterback league, and young Blaine needs someone who will create opportunities like Wallace. As great as MJD is, his life expectency as an elite back is closing quickly.