Matt Jones' agent wants the Redskins to release his client, as reported by Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press.
The request makes sense for Jones, as he's slid way down the Redskins running back depth chart after starting the 2016 season as the starter.
The trouble for Jones, however, is that it makes very little sense for the Redskins to cut the third-year running back. And there are plenty of reasons:
- Going 90 – The NFL changed a rule this offseason that allows teams to keep 90 players on their roster until after the fourth and final preseason game. That means there will be no roster squeeze, no situation where the Redskins will need a roster spot. Even if the team plans to move on from Jones - which is fairly obvious - there is zero incentive to do so before September.
- One play away – Jay Gruden joked last week that this time last year, Robert Kelley was the Redskins 9th-string running back. By November, he was the starter. Crazy things happen in the NFL, especially at the running back position, and the rise of Kelley is a prime example. Should the Redskins lose a few of their RBs to injury, Jones could certainly get back in the mix for playing time.
- Trade value – It may seem like a long shot, but Jones could bring something back in a trade. Remember Donovan McNabb? Mike Shanahan refused to give the veteran QB his outright release, and eventually, the Redskins traded McNabb to Minnesota for a lowly sixth-round draft pick. That pick turned out to be Alfred Morris. Even if late-round picks can produce value.
- He can be good – In 20 career games, Jones has gone over 100 yards three times. He's 6-foot-2, and if he can ever cure his fumbling problems, could be a strong NFL player. It's not smart to give up on potential for nothing.
Right now, in June, Jones is buried on the Redskins depth chart. Kelley and Chris Thompson, Mack Brown and rookie Samaje Perine are in front of the former Gator. Things change in the NFL. It's understandable Jones wants out – he has produced enough to get a chance to contribute elsewhere - but he still has plenty of value to Washington.
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