(Photo via nydailynews.com)
During the 2015 NFL season, Chris Ivory was an absolute beast in the New York Jets backfield. He ran for a career high 1,087 yards and averaged 4.3 yards per carry, not to mention, he represented the Jets in the Pro-Bowl. However, the Jets will have to move on from Ivory because on March 8th, it was announced he had reached an agreement with the Jacksonville Jaguars on a 5 year $32 million contract. It was assumed for a long time that Ivory would depart because of the Jets limited cap space going into this off-season, but now that it had become a reality, the Jets needed to find a replacement.
Not wasting any time, they did just that as the following day, they signed 2-time Pro-Bowl running back Matt Forte to a 3 year $12 million contract. Through Forte’s first eight years in the NFL, he has averaged 1,075 yards on the ground per season. While Forte has exceled as a runner since he joined the league as a second round pick in 2008, he has been the best pass catching running back in the league, averaging 514 receiving yards per season. While the Forte signing was perceived as a very good one for New York, some believe that at age 30, which is where running backs tend to start to decline, that he needed someone to help him with the workload in the backfield to share the carries with him.
The Jets got that help immediately by re-signing another effective pass catching running back in Bilal Powell, and also signing power back Khiry Robinson away from the New Orleans Saints the day following the Forte signing. With these two signings, the Jets get a speedy pass catching back who knows what it is like playing in New York as well as a power back that can come in during goal line situations. The Jets may have lost a pro bowl running back in Ivory, but they signed three running backs that can all be effective in their own way, not to mention saving money at the same time.
– D. Celauro