Trading Matt Jones to the Baltimore Ravens makes sense, but probably won’t happen
There are obstacles to a trade
At the same time, I would classify a trade as unlikely. There are a multitude of problems that the teams would have to address in order to make a deal. The first is the fact that the Ravens do have another back that has similar issues to Jones. Buck Allen is another player who has had fumbling problems in his young career and he landed in the doghouse like Jones did. That could deter the Ravens from investing a resource into a player who may end up getting benched early on in his career with the team.
Additionally, Jones is not the best running back that may be available on the trade market. Carlos Hyde, of the San Francisco 49ers, owns that distinction for now. Hyde had his most productive year as a pro in 2016, falling just short of 1,000 rushing yards while averaging 4.6 yards per carry in 13 games. He was one of the few bright spots on the 49ers, but the arrival of Kyle Shanahan, and a new offensive system, may make him expendable. In that case, the Ravens may target the 49ers back since he is a better talent with a more proven track record than Jones. The only question with Hyde is his injury history.
The fit of Hyde is made more intriguing by the fact that Jim Harbaugh coached the running back for two seasons when he was with the 49ers. Jim’s brother John is the head coach of the Ravens. Jim’s offensive coordinator during his tenure, Greg Roman, is currently on the Ravens staff and he also coached Hyde. That connection may be enough to land Hyde with the Ravens as they search for a true lead back.
The final obstacle in getting Jones to the Ravens is the fact that the Redskins are highly likely to part ways with him prior to the start of the 2017 season. This kills Jones’ trade value, as the Ravens would be able to sign him off the street just a month from now at no cost. That alone makes Jones worth a conditional seventh rounder at most, and that could be a major obstacle for the team to overcome in any attempts to trade him.
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Overall, a Jones trade is still unlikely. But there is a good chance that Baltimore will have some level of interest in the talented back as they look for a new leader of their shaky backfield.