Jets get Zac Stacy in trade with Rams

ByRich Cimini ESPN logo
Sunday, May 3, 2015

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Two days after requesting a trade or his release from the St. Louis Rams, running back Zac Stacy got his wish Saturday and was dealt to the New York Jets for a seventh-round draft pick.

Stacy became expendable in the first round, when the Rams surprised many by selecting running back Todd Gurley with the 10th overall pick.

Stacy expressed his surprise on Twitter, responding, "Yikes." He quickly deleted the tweet.

The Rams also drafted a running back in 2014, tabbing Tre Mason in the third round. Evidently, they didn't see Stacy as the long-term answer even though he rushed for 973 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie in 2013.

Stacy, a fifth-round pick in 2013, emerged as starter his rookie season, but the team drafted over him with Mason the following offseason. He started the first four games last year before Mason took the job permanently, and Stacy fell down to third on the depth chart.

"Looking back over the years, I don't know if I remember a player that handled the circumstances that he handled last year that in essence was what we'd refer to as a demotion better than Zac from a team standpoint," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said Saturday.

The Jets went into this year's draft looking for a running back, hoping to add competition to a growing backfield. Stacy will join Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell, Stevan Ridley and Daryl Richardson, another former Ram.

Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan said the Rams started "working the phones" after selecting Gurley. The Jets weighed Stacy against the running back pool in the draft, opting to take a flier on him.

"We thought the idea of bringing Zac in for that kind of investment would be very beneficial and increase the competition at that position," Maccagnan said. "He's had success in the league. Two years ago, he was close to a 1,000-yard back. This past season, his production wasn't quite as high, but we do think he's a good-caliber running back."

Ridley, a free agent and a former member of the New England Patriots, still is recovering from major knee surgery. Earlier this week, Jets coach Todd Bowles expressed some concern with his depth, hinting they could add a back.

However, Maccagnan downplayed Ridley's knee as a factor, saying it wasn't the reason he felt compelled to make the trade.

Ivory rushed for a team-high 821 yards in 2014, but he's never had 200 carries in a season.

The Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots also had expressed some level of interest in Stacy, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Fisher said the Rams talked to "a number of teams but this happened to be the best fit."

Also Saturday, the Jets traded up in the fourth round of the draft to select Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty.

Information from Rams reporter Nick Wagoner contributed to this report.

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