The Felix Jones Era ended Friday, just three months after it began.
Jones, who led the NFL with 5.9 yards per carry in 2009, became expendable to the Eagles over the past few weeks with the emergence of Chris Polk behind LeSean McCoy, an all-pro tailback in 2011, and Bryce Brown, who had a record-setting rookie year last fall. So on Friday morning, the Eagles shipped the sixth-year tailback to the Steelers in exchange for outside linebacker Adrian Robinson.
Both players were on the roster bubble because of depth at their position, and neither was likely to survive final roster cuts.
The Steelers have been seeking running back help after losing Le’Veon Bell for four to six weeks with a right foot sprain during a game against the Redskins. They lost two other tailbacks, Paulsboro’s Isaac Redman and LaRod Stephens-Howling, with less serious injuries this summer.
The Eagles signed Jones on May 14 to a one-year deal worth $780,000, a minimum-salary benefit deal with a modest $32,500 reporting bonus.
Jones has rushed for 2,728 yards and 11 touchdowns with 128 catches for 1,066 yards and three more TDs in five NFL seasons, all with the Cowboys.
Among running backs with 500 or more carries since 2008, his 4.8 average is fourth-highest, behind only Jamaal Charles, DeAngelo Williams and Adrian Peterson.
But Jones, the 22nd pick in the 2008 draft, had a career-low 3.6 average on 111 carries with Dallas last year and was allowed to become a free agent.
In two preseason games with the Eagles, Jones ran 12 times for 45 yards, with a long gainer of eight yards.
In Robinson, the Eagles get a 23-year-old second-year pro from Temple who potentially helps with linebacker depth and special teams.
Robinson, 6-foot-1, 250 pounds, made the Steelers as an undrafted free agent last year and played in 12 games getting 101 snaps, all 101 on special teams.
He had a fumble recovery for a touchdown in a preseason game against the Giants on Aug. 10.
Behind projected outside linebacker starters Connor Barwin and Trent Cole, the Eagles have only Brandon Graham, Chris McCoy, Everette Brown and Travis Long on the roster at outside linebacker.
Depth at outside linebacker became a major issue after Phillip Hunt was lost for the season with an ACL tear. Robinson will compete with McCoy and Long for one of the backup spots.
Robinson is signed through next year with minimum-wage base salaries of $480,000 this year and $570,000 next year, with cap numbers of $481,666 and $571,666.