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Trades From History: Matt Robinson

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Continuing our look at the past of this franchise, how about a look at a trade in trade season.....from 1980.

I hope that Mike Tannenbaum can pull a trade off half as good as this one. Matt Robinson a QB who played college ball at the University of Georgia. He was drafted in the 1977 NFL draft in the 9th round, with selection 227 overall. Not a highly touted prospect by any stretch. Which is why other teams passed on him 226 times.

He started 4 games his rookie year in New York, throwing 2 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Followed by a 1978 season is which he threw 13 TD's and 16 interceptions and completed just 46.6% completion starting all 16 games. Despite pedestrian statistics; Robinson started the 1979 season as starting QB for the Jets. He was on the brunt of an angry Walt Michaels as he failed to mention a serious thumb injury which caused severe problems in the season opener.

He attempted just 31 passes in 1979 and failed to throw a touchdown although he did manage to throw two interceptions. So at the end of his three year career with the New York Jets, he had thrown just 15 touchdowns and been intercepted 26 times and fumbled the football 7 times.

Then in the off-season, the Denver Bronco's thought they saw something special in Matt Robinson. They traded their first and second round selection in the 1980 draft as well as quarterback Craig Penrose. Now lets just say that Penrose was a throw in, he attempted just 117 passes in his NFL career but the Jets had two extremely valuable picks in the 1980 draft for a mediocre at best signal caller in Robinson.

If only the Jets had used the picks a little more sensibly, instead the Jets sent their two first round picks (13th and 20th overall) to San Francisco for the second overall pick in the draft which they used to select Texas wide receiver Johnny "Lam" Jones.

Don't get me wrong Johnny Jones was one highly touted prospect, a pure athlete with the speed of a cheetah. He won a gold medal at the 1976 summer Olympics in the 4x100 meter relay. Unfortunately as much as he could beat any player in the NFL for speed, he never quite mastered that to be elite, he would also need to catch the football.

He played for the Jets for 5 years before quitting the NFL completely. He finished with 138 receptions for 2322 yards and 13 touchdowns. So while we got the better portion of the deal, it could have been so much better. Hall of famer Anthony Munoz was taken 3rd overall and Art Monk a fellow hall of famer was taken at number 18. Jacob Green who finished his career with nearly 100 sacks was taken at 10.

A lot of possibilities, but obviously it's easy to judge in hindsight. An interesting draft between the two teams none the less.