The Jacksonville Jaguars stole two of the Texans’ players last week by signing Adam Ball and Justin Forsett. A few days later, it now appears general manager Rick Smith is ready to get back – by signing one of Jacksonville’s own.
It was reported yesterday that the Texans have arranged a visit with Jaguars’ free agent fullback Greg Jones, a meeting which is scheduled to end by Wednesday night – even though these things have a tendency to last longer. Jones is a nine year veteran, and has rushed for a career 437-yards and three touchdowns during his time in black and teal. What’s kept the Texans interested in Jones though isn’t his rush skills – it’s his blocking capability.
The Jaguars seem pretty sad to lose Jones, especially since he has developed into one of the more trusty fullbacks in the NFL. His main use in Jacksonville has been establishing himself as a lead blocker, and when he sees a lot of game time like he did in 2005 (13 starts), he can put up big numbers in most columns.
In 2003 Jones’ scouting report reads a lot like it does now: a big, powerful back that sees the field well and shows agility to get around blockers. Nine years later those same mechanics have diminished a little bit, but Jones still shows the speed of a running back and a decent pair of hands.
What the Texans probably see in Jones though, is all of this, plus someone who can protect Matt Schaub’s pocket. Last season the offensive line gave up 28 sacks in the regular season, and Jones’ 248 pound body is a big stopper to have. He also acts as a potential replacement to James Casey who was lost to Philadelphia, and adds depth behind – or in front of – Tyler Clutts.
The Texans will probably take the same route the Jaguars did and leave Jones with as fewer handoffs as possible. He received only five attempts in 2012, but like I said before, Jones could be much more valuable as a receiver.
In terms of his hands, Jones’ isn’t a given to reel in every pass, but he’s a nice option to have when sending receivers deep and sneaking a fullback out the backdoor to fool defenders with a quick pass. He probably won’t bring in passes that require a difficult stretch, yet when he does have the ball in the open field Jones can be hard to bring down.
There’s a lot left to be said with this arrangement by the Texans. Money isn’t a massive issue since the team is said to be $5.3 million under the cap after signing Ed Reed, but Jones would probably command somewhere in between a $1 million to $2 million deal, leaving out many other free agent options down the track.
If the Texans do pick him up after Wednesday’s visit, they gain a lead blocker, someone to watch Schaub’s back, and a player that could be Arian Foster’sbacks best friend after helping Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor to healthy careers. This is an interesting move by the Texans if it happens – fullback wasn’t very high on anyone’s priority list. But hey, looking at it now, it probably should have been a long time ago.
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