Recently, the news has broken out of the Washington Redskins camp that Matt Jones‘ agent, Hadley Englehard, has asked the team for his release. The timing does seem a tad strange here, as Jones has since reported to the mandatory minicamp for the Skins. This is likely happening only for Jones to show other teams that he is committed to improving his work ethic and not as much a show of letting the Redskins know that he is “okay” with his current role.
It has been quite the ride for Matt Jones since he was drafted in the third round, out of Florida, in 2015. Jones came off the bench that season and took full advantage of his opportunities. In Week 2 of the 2015 season, Jones rattled off 19 rushes for 123 yards from scrimmage, and two touchdowns. Sadly, that was not a sign of things to come for the young running back, as he fell out of grace with coach Jay Gruden when his fumbling issues plagued him from reaching his full potential.
Matt Jones eventually lost his starting job to Robert Kelley, and even Kelley may be in danger of losing his starting job considering how the Redskins drafted another running back in the NFL Draft. Jay Gruden is no stranger to having a short amount of patience when his running backs suddenly are turning the ball over, and costing his squad victories that will ultimately be the difference between qualifying for the playoffs, or coming up just short. This 2017 version of the Washington Redskins could be their most potent offense in years based on the improved play of quarterback Kirk Cousins and their many off-season additions through free agency, and the aforementioned draft.
The question posed above seems a tad silly at the moment, as Matt Jones is a long shot to make the roster. So, why would the Redskins, who recently promoted Doug Williams to the role of Senior VP of Player Personnel, keep stringing along Matt Jones when they are very unlikely to find a trade partner? Williams will likely lose interest in finding a potential trade partner for Jones, and will eventually have to find a way to cut ties with the young running back in one way or another.
Whatever the reason may be for the Redskins to hang on to a disgruntled running back this long, we likely won’t have to wait long to see how this story plays out. Matt Jones’ options for finding a new team will be limited, but he will likely find work before training camp. All of this will be determined by the Redskins’ willingness to do the “right thing” and allow him to continue his career elsewhere.