Posted August 23, 2013

Felix Jones traded for Adrian Robinson, joins crowded Steelers backfield

AFC North, NFC East, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers
Felix Jones was unimpressive in two preseason outing for the Eagles. (Brian Garfinkel, AP)

Felix Jones was unimpressive in two preseason outings for the Philadelphia Eagles. (Brian Garfinkel/AP)

Felix Jones’s days as a Philadelphia Eagle appeared numbered with roster cuts approaching. His sagging career received at least a temporary reprieve Friday as the Eagles traded him to the Pittsburgh Steelers for linebacker Adrian Robinson. The trade was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Caplan.

Jones, a first-round pick of the Cowboys in the 2008 draft, has struggled to stay healthy during his first five years in the league. He played himself out of Dallas with a quiet 2012, in which he finished with just 402 rushing yards despite picking up seven starts while DeMarco Murray battled injuries.

The 26-year-old Jones has not looked much better this preseason for the Eagles. In two games he gained 45 yards on 12 carries, a 3.75 yards-per-carry average that barely bests the 3.6 he put up last season. Jones was well behind LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown in the Eagles’ plans, and it appeared Chris Polk had bumped him from the No. 3 RB job, too.

He’s certainly no guarantee to stick in Pittsburgh either, with Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer, LaRod Stephens-Howling and Baron Batch all fighting for playing time while 2013 draft pick Le’Veon Bell deals with a foot injury. Redman may have the inside track on the starting gig for Week 1, though Dwyer stated his case with a strong 68-yard performance at Washington last Monday.

Stephens-Howling, who sat out that game with a knee injury, could be the odd man out. Jones, who has 127 career catches, could push the former Arizona Cardinal for a job.

The uphill battle for Jones will be insurmountable, though, if he cannot show a little more pop in Pittsburgh than he did in Philadelphia. Once a promising prospect, Jones’s career really peaked in 2009 and ’10. He put up 1,482 all-purpose yards in ’09, including 678 on kick returns; the next season, he had 800 yards rushing, 45 receptions and 450 yards receiving, all career highs.

GALLERY: Old faces in new places

Robinson, an undrafted signee by Pittsburgh last season, will add another body to the Eagles’ thin and thus far overmatched linebacking corps. He was not really in the Steelers’ plans, buried on the depth chart at outside linebacker by rookie Jarvis Jones’ arrival. Robinson did see action on special teams last season, but he finished the year without a tackle.

Whether he can stick in Philadelphia for a longer time than the rapidly-aging Felix Jones in Pittsburgh remains to be seen. Robinson is under contract through 2014 and may be able to sneak onto the Eagles’ practice squad.

Jones, meanwhile, inked a cheap, one-year deal with Philadelphia this offseason. He’s in make-or-break mode on his career, and the ease with which Philadelphia opted to send him packing does not bode well for Jones’ future.

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12 comments
SteelCtn
SteelCtn

Robinson was not going to make the Steelers.  They have nine linebackers in three different tiers.  Jones is a stop gap, nothing more.  He is there just in case there are any more injuries.  Why not pick up another body as a safety valve.  Robinson wasnt going to make the team and jones probably wont either, but with two preseason games left and the possibility of more injuries it was a smart move even if they cut him.

DD
DD

Two words......DuJuan Harris. The Packers would listen to an offer for another "odd man out" in a crowded backfield. He runs harder and HAS to be more durable than Felix Jones.

tlm773458
tlm773458

What is the deal with Pittsburgh these days?  First we draft a workhorse college RB with a long injury history and probably far too many carries under his belt then when he is injured, we grab up a has-been from the same team we got the has-been Deuce Staley...  On top of that beyond Maurkice Pouncey, WE STILL HAVE NO DECENT PROTECTION FOR THE QB....WAKE UP STEELERS

Rambis
Rambis

In related news, the Broncos just traded a moldy banana to the Redskins for a used tissue...

TeamCropDusters
TeamCropDusters

He was supposed to be the best RB in the history of football for the Fighting Jerry's!

Ason
Ason

Jerrah....'nother plum picked huh...smdh

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@IanHartless Yeah, attempting to plug a hole in the backfield by giving up an undrafted player.  They are mortgaging the future of the franchise!   Time for the league to take the team from the Rooneys!

IanHartless
IanHartless

@JoeCabot That "hole" is a gaping chasm that isn't helped in any way by picking up a brittle bust of a RB who's had 2 teams give up on him.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@IanHartless Not sure, but I don't think that Adrian Peterson was available.   By the way, where is the panic?  They basically gave up nothing.