Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/22/12

Very rarely does a team go 15-1 in the NFL. Any team posting a record that good has a chance to get a little cocky and maybe even think that they don’t have much room for improvement.

In the case of the Green Bay Packers, there is clearly a great deal of improvement needed in both the ground attack and the running game and they are aware of both.

The Packers did their best to address needs on the defensive side of things in the Draft.

As for the running game, well that is a different story.

Green Bay is hoping to have Alex Green this season and the thought seemed to be that a healthy Green as well as James Starks and the continued use of fan-favorite John Kuhn would be enough to carry the load for a pass-heavy team.

When that began looking like a weak plan, the Packers went out and signed Cedric Benson to the veteran minimum. With ongoing injuries to both Starks and Green, Benson might actually start in week one.

Wait? The 15-1 Packers are starting a 29-year-old running back that was out of work for months because no one wanted the risk? I have a better idea. His name is Maurice Jones-Drew.

MJD is not human. Over the past four seasons he has averaged nearly 1,700 yards per campaign and 12 scores. He has lost only seven fumbles over those four years and only four in the last three years.

That gives him an average of 250 points per season for standard fantasy football scoring. That is more than Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Michael Turner, or Ray Rice over the same four-year period.

The Packers haven’t seen a decent running game since Ryan Grant had 1,200+ yard seasons in 2008 and 2009. Those days are long gone; but they don’t have to be.

The disgruntled MJD is looking for a way out, and the Packers should make an offer to Shad Khan that he cannot refuse. MJD is going to be an $8.3 million hit against the Jags' salary cap, but they can cut that drastically by dealing him.

Right now the Jaguars top two wide receivers are Laurent Robinson, who isn’t a proven starter, and Justin Blackmon, a rookie. The Packers on the other hand are so stacked at wide receiver that they are planning to keep six receivers on their final 53-man roster.

So here is the deal: Green Bay sends James Starks, James Jones, their 2013 first round pick, and a 2014 second round pick to the Jags for MJD.

The Jaguars move Rashad Jennings, who averaged 5.5 ypc last season, to the starting running back role and let Starks play backup. They can then go RBBC after Starks learns the system. They move Robinson to the slot and put James Jones on the outside and become a solid passing team with three solid receivers to go along with Marcedes Lewis at tight end. They dump the big paycheck for MJD and end up building for the future.

The Packers don’t lose any depth at wide receiver and clearly they gain an All-Star at running back. Their first-rounder next year would most likely be the 32nd overall pick and their second-rounder in 2014 should also be near the end of the round. They will never see another opportunity like this.

This deal nearly hands the Lombardi trophy to Green Bay; which of course is why I like it.



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