In the Cardinals ongoing search to find the running back of the future, there's a name that I just can't get out of my head: Kevin Jones. I know all the reasons that I shouldn't be interested in the former Detroit Lion. He's missed ten games over past three seasons and his past two seasons have ended with serious injuries (foot injury in 2006 & ACL in 2007). On top of injury concerns, Jones' production, outside of his rookie season, isn't anything to get overly excited about. His past three seasons have produced just over 1,900 yards on 520 carries (3.7 yards per carry). BUT, with all the red flags hanging on Kevin Jones' resume right now, it's worth remembering that he's still only 25 years old and not many could have been productive in the dysfunctional Detroit offense. So can a case be made that Jones should be added to an already crowded backfield? We'll try:
Age: At just 25 years old he still has plenty of yards left in his legs, especially considering he's averaged less than 200 carries during his four seasons.
Speed: While Jones may still not possess the 4.33 blazing speed that he did prior to his rookie season, he'd still be the closest thing to a 'home run hitter' that the Cardinals have had in quite a while.
Overall skills: Jones' ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, make his game perfectly molded to match the Cardinals system. He's averaged over 35 receptions per season and would provide Leinart a solid check down option.
Injury Concerns: Jones' two serious injuries are something that can't be ignored and it's likely that he'll never be a true feature back.
Fumbles: He's coughed up the rock 11 times during his career and even had a question marks about his ability to protect the ball at Virginia Tech.
Overall, the signing of Kevin Jones would bring just as many question marks as applause, but the upside is just too hard for me to ignore. He's holding a workout for teams on June 28th and it'll be very interesting to see how many teams line up for his services. He's already worked out for the Patriots and Titans and reportedly turned down a couple of contract offers. I'd be very interested what kind of deal he's looking for and how high teams will go after watching him workout.
"I’m not trying to break the bank, but I’m not about to go anywhere just to go, just because there’s a team out there and I haven’t gotten picked up yet," Jones said. "I know my worth. A lot of the teams know my worth, but they figure, ‘OK, you’re hurt right now. We’ll bring you in.’ They’re just going to lowball you. But that’s not happening with me.
In the end it might be a fair-fetched dream to imagine Kevin Jones and Tim Hightower as a 'thunder and lightening' backfield combo but I'd really like to see if it could work. Anyone else interested in Jones or is he too fragile to consider at this point?