After the 24-18 loss in Calgary on August 3, the Edmonton Eskimos made a move that many could not make sense of, trading receiver Kenny Stafford to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in return for RB/KR Christion Jones.
It first seemed like a knee jerk reaction. In Week 8, Martese Jackson fumbled a punt that helped set up a Calgary touchdown in a six-point loss. While Jackson was injured on the play leading to the Esks needing a replacement, trading an established playmaker seemed baffling. Thus far, the results have not been good.
Since that trade, Trevor Harris has not looked great. He did not throw a touchdown pass in the win over the Ottawa Redblacks the following week. Then, against Western Division rivals Winnipeg and Calgary the past two weeks he has thrown two interceptions (doubling his season total to four) and just one touchdown.
He did have a three-touchdown night against Toronto after the game against Ottawa, but that game looks much like an outlier in light of the other three games since the deal.
Jones has made no impact at all on offence since coming over. He has barely been used with just four catches and the other receivers have suffered. Why trade away a guy like Stafford that did a good job stretching the field to complement the deep speed of Ricky Collins Jr. and the skills of Greg Ellingson to move the chains? It seemed like the perfect trio for Harris and now Logan Kilgore.
Moreover, Jones is averaging under 10 yards per punt return since joining the Esks—which would be the lowest mark of his career. He’s averaging just over twenty yards per kick return—hardly the impact player Edmonton thought they were getting.
Kenny Stafford was having arguably his best season as a pro with 30 receptions for 366 yards and two touchdowns in seven games before the trade. While he could take the Riders receivers to the next level with Naaman Roosevelt and Shaq Evans, Stafford does not have a single reception since the trade.
Perhaps the move was truly nothing more than a depth move in case Evans missed significant time. Jones may have been redundant with Marcus Thigpen, Kyran Moore and Loucheiz Purifoy all stepping up in the return game, but still, this trade seems not to have done much for the Riders. For Edmonton, it has been nothing but a letdown.
Main image credit:
Embed from Getty Images