The New York Jets found themselves in dire need of a running back after a season-ending torn ACL to rookie star Breece Hall on Sunday. A day later, they filled that vacancy, acquiring James Robinson from the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for a 2023 conditional sixth-round pick, ESPN reported. The pick could elevate to a fifth-rounder if Robinson rushes for 600 yards.
“I would not normally support a team in the midst of a turnaround giving up draft picks,” said analyst Joe Banner of The 33rd Team. “In this case, the compensation is so minor that it’s a reasonable thing for Jets GM Joe Douglas to show support for the head coach and the players who have worked so hard.”
Robinson is a former starter and 1,000-yard rusher who was splitting time in the Jacksonville backfield. Robinson had 340 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 81 carries so far this season, just edging out 2021 first-round pick Travis Etienne for the lead in the offense. Dealing with a knee injury, however, Robinson did not record a rush in the team’s Week 7 loss.
He broke into the NFL as an undrafted sensation in 2019 out of Illinois State, rushing for 1,070 yards and seven touchdowns for Jacksonville. Robinson saw his workload reduced under Urban Meyer in 2021, with 767 yards and eight touchdowns.
New York began the season with a committee at running back, with Hall and Michael Carter splitting carries. The last four weeks had seen Hall get a larger and larger share of that workload, with excellent results. The rookie, picked 36th overall in this year’s draft, had 279 yards and three touchdowns from Weeks 4-6, and had 72 yards and a touchdown on four carries in Week 7 before suffering the torn ACL.
“In my opinion (Hall) was probably going to be rookie of the year,” said analyst Dave Wannstedt of The 33rd Team. “It’s a tough, tough loss.”
Robinson will pair with Carter for the Jets. Carter, in his second season as a fourth-round pick in 2021, has 228 yards and a pair of touchdowns so far this season.