The Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns had opposite problems, and they solved them with one swift move on Friday, a trade that will send Carlos Hyde to Jacksonville. It's a spicy, modern NFL trade that will give the Jags a boost and open up playing time for younger Browns players.
Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported the news.
For the Jags, it was a situation where they badly need run help. Leonard Fournette's been battling a hamstring injury all season long and has not been available for back to back games all year, only playing in Weeks 1 and 4. Jacksonville's backup, T.J. Yeldon, is also dealing with an injury that could keep him out this weekend.
Jacksonville wants to run the ball and play defense, but it's hard to do that without any healthy running backs. It's even harder to salt away a lead without a healthy running back. The Jaguars' M.O. has been to get up on teams, suffocate them with defense and pound the ball down their throats. Acquiring Hyde gives the Jaguars a downhill runner who can thump and still rip off big gains.
He's also tremendous insurance in the event of a Fournette injury down the road. Fournette, the team's top draft pick two years ago, hasn't been the picture of health in his career, so the move makes sense from that perspective. Also, worst case the Jaguars have a healthy Fournette, a healthy Hyde and a healthy Yeldon to throw at opposing defenses. That could make for a nightmare situation if you're trying to stop the Jaguars' run game.
In Cleveland, things are pretty obvious. Nick Chubb is the man now. The second-round pick out of Georgia is an immense talent who has ripped off some huge runs this year. He's averaging an absurd 10.8 yards per carry (not a typo) so far this season and has been electric when given the ball.
Chubb is capable of carrying a full load and could become a monster as Cleveland's bellcow back. The Browns just made a smart financial move too: they won't have to deal with the aftermath of Hyde's contract. It would have only been a few million in dead money on the cap if he was cut next offseason, but they just saved cash, got to play their young back and got a pick in return for their trouble.
All around a smart move by both teams.
If you're still reading this, STOP READING and go to your fantasy football league right now to pick up Chubb (Hyde should already be owned). He's a league winner who just fell in your lap.