The Ravens are in an interesting spot with fourth-year running back Kenneth Dixon. Undoubtedly talented, Dixon finds himself on the roster bubble despite a strong finish to the 2018-19 season. Dixon averaged 5.6 YPC and rushed for two touchdowns in six games, helping to spearhead a dynamic rushing attack.
They say the best ability is availability, and throughout Dixon’s career, his struggles in staying on the field have continued to rear their head. Injuries and suspensions have prevented Dixon from stringing together consistency. Considering his productivity on the field, his inability to remain in the lineup is unfortunate.
The reality of the situation, though, is that the Ravens have given Dixon chances to succeed and he has frankly yet to come through. And for as talented as he is, the Louisiana Tech product has somewhat struggled to separate himself from a crowded backfield featuring Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill.
Ingram is entrenched as the starter, Edwards had maybe an even better season that Dixon last year, and Hill brings a skill set that is more dynamic and complementary to the other backs on the roster. Given what the Ravens want to do on offense, keeping four RB’s may be the best course of action - in which case putting Dixon on the 53-man roster makes sense.
However, in light of recent events around the league (specifically in the AFC South), could a trade opportunity involving Dixon emerge?
In Saturday night’s preseason tilt with the Cowboys, Texans’ starting running back Lamar Miller suffered a torn ACL injury, which will obviously sideline him for the entire season and potentially longer. Houston’s updated RB depth chart features Duke Johnson Jr. and Jay Ajayi, whom the Texans signed on Sunday night.
Texans believe RB Lamar Miller suffered torn ACL. (via @RapSheet) pic.twitter.com/UI9135zFOq— NFL (@NFL) August 25, 2019
Johnson, whom Houston traded for several weeks ago, is one of the better receivers at the position in the entire league. However, in terms of potency on the ground, the chances of Johnson of thriving as an early-down workhorse are low. As for Ajayi, he’s had some high moments thus far in his young career but has been plagued by inconsistency. While talented, trusting Ajayi to reliable with a full 16-game workload is a risky proposition.
In summary, the Texans now have a definitive need at the running back position with roughly two weeks remaining until the regular season. The remaining free agent pool leaves much to be desired, and their best option may be to scourer the trade market - looking at you, Kenneth Dixon.
Dixon could immediately step in a significant contributor in Houston, working in tandem with Johnson and Ajayi to take pressure of DeShaun Watson. For the Ravens, getting back draft capital and potentially players in exchange for Dixon, who is third or fourth on the depth chart, would be a win.
Of course, shipping Dixon elsewhere would only make sense if the team does in fact intend to release him during upcoming roster cuts or doesn’t envision him playing a significant role on offense this season. What sort of compensation could Eric DeCosta receive from Houston in a trade for Dixon? It’s hard to say, but he was able to land a fifth-rounder for Kaare Vedvik and Dixon plays at a much more premier position, so at least a mid-round pick is reasonable to project - and possibly even more.
Another factor to consider is Andrew Luck, who abruptly announced he was retiring on Saturday night less than an hour after Lamar Miller tore his ACL. Without Luck, the Texans could foresee a decline from their divisional foe, the Colts, and therefore may be inclined to make a win-now move to capitalize on their window.
With Ingram, Edwards, and Hill on the roster, the Ravens don’t necessarily need Dixon’s skill set. He’s a nice luxury to have on the offense but certainly not a necessity considering the talent and abilities of the three other running backs mentioned above.
Whether or not this hypothetical trade scenario actually emerges as a tangible possibility remains to be seen, but if it does, be sure to stay tuned for updates and news from Baltimore Beatdown. Also be sure to vote on the poll and join the conversation below!
Should the Ravens inquire about trading Kenneth Dixon to the Houston Texans?
This poll is closed
Yes, make it happen.
No, Dixon should stay in Baltimore.
Maybe later in the season.