This off season, the Jets are left with facing tough decisions regarding the running back position. Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell, and Steven Ridley are all set to hit the free agent market. Chris Ivory is coming off the best year of his career, breaking 1,000 yards for the first time in his career, and will enter next season at 28 years old. Bilal Powell proved to be a valuable commodity towards the end of the season both rushing and catching the ball out of the backfield, and will be 27 years old entering the 2016 season. Steven Ridley saw limited time and was the 4th leading rusher on the team behind Ivory, Powell, and Ryan Fitzpatrick. He is only 27 years old, but will likely not be resigned. Ivory is going to command much more money than he has been making for the green and white for the last 3 years, and might not be in the reach of the cap strapped Jets who have more glaring holes to address. Powell might be the back with the greatest chance of returning to the team next year.
The best bet for the Jets may be to look forward then look back to ensure future success. This could be a pure gold scenario for the Jets. Start by signing Powell to similar 1-2 year contract. Then look towards the draft. Using a second round draft pick could land a talent like Alex Collins from Arkansas or Devontae Booker from Utah. They could even wait to the third round and hope Jordan Howard from Indiana or Kenneth Dixon from Louisiana Tech fall to them. Draft a running back to complement with Powell and even late in games use Zac Stacy who is under team control through next year. Maybe not the sexiest option, but it could work, and the possibility of landing the next rookie running back phenomenon exists.
So why take the risk next year of using career backups and a rookie? The answer lies by looking to the past.
Yup ima Jets fan…What can I say? I love #GreenAndWhite….lol
— Le’Veon Bell (@L_Bell26) April 9, 2011
If uu wanna y I want the packers to win, its cuz the jets lost…lol I’m not a fan of the packers, but I hate the Steelers…ha — Le’Veon Bell (@L_Bell26) February 7, 2011
These Tweets were before Le’Veon Bell was drafted by the Steelers, and there are others that exist. A self proclaimed Jets fan, Bell when on the field has been absolutely dominant. In 35 career games, he has 2,777 yards rushing and 1,389 yards receiving to go along with 22 total touchdowns. After a decent rookie campaign, he exploded on to the scene his second year, and only played 6 games in 2015 due to injury. He is a great receiver catching balls out of the backfield as well as being one of the most elusive runners in the NFL. He is also set to become a free agent after this upcoming season, so why not make a run for him? He could be the missing piece that could make this tweet, a reality.
— Le'Veon Bell (@L_Bell26) April 9, 2011