FLORHAM PARK, NJ — Striking quickly to fill a sudden void in their backfield, the New York Jets agreed to acquire running back James Robinson in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars, sources confirmed to ESPN on Monday night.
The Jets will send a 2023 conditional sixth-round pick to the Jaguars, which becomes a fifth-rounder if Robinson rushes for 600 yards this season, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He already has 340 yards.
After losing standout rookie Breece Hall to a season-ending knee injury on Sunday, and with the Nov. 1 trade deadline approaching, Jets general manager Joe Douglas scoured the market for a replacement. Robinson, one of the league’s top success stories only two years ago, lost his starting job recently and became expendable.
The Jets (5-2), off to their best start since 2010, can use Robinson and Michael Carter as a 1-2 punch. They’re 4-0 since shifting to a ground-oriented attack, and Robinson — known to be a high-volume back — should allow them to continue with that style. They also have Ty Johnson.
It will be difficult to replace Hall’s production, though. He’s eighth in the NFL in rushing with 463 yards, averaging 5.8 yards per carry and scoring a touchdown in four straight games.
Robinson is in the final year of his rookie contract and will be a restricted free agent after the season, meaning the Jets will have an opportunity to retain his rights for 2023.
Travis Etienne Jr. surpassed Robinson on the Jaguars’ depth chart over the past several weeks and got the start in the last two games, rushing for 200 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries (8.3 yards per carry) in losses to the Indianapolis Colts and New York Giants.
Robinson has rushed for 2,177 yards and 18 touchdowns in his three seasons with the Jaguars, including 1,070 yards and 7 touchdowns as an undrafted rookie in 2020. His 1,414 yards from scrimmage that season was the most by an undrafted rookie in NFL history.
Robinson had 767 yards and 8 rushing touchdowns last season before suffering a torn left Achilles tendon in the Jaguars’ Week 16 loss at the Jets.
Robinson was ready for the 2022 season opener, however, and ran for 66 yards and a touchdown to go along with a touchdown catch in Jacksonville’s loss to the Washington Commanders. He had a season-high 23 carries in Week 2, and 17 in Week 3 before Etienne became a bigger part of the backfield rotation.
Robinson played only 12 snaps in Sunday’s loss to the Giants and did not record a carry or a reception in a game for the first time in his career. Jaguars coach Doug Pederson said Monday that Robinson was dealing with some knee soreness, but he was not listed on the injury report last week.
NFL Network first reported the trade.
ESPN’s Mike DiRocco contributed to this report.