New York Jets: Should team sign Beanie Wells?

By Raymond Mencke
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals running back Beanie Wells came out today in the media and pretty much indicated he won’t be back with the Cardinals next season.  Wells is in his fourth season with the club after they drafted him in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft.  The former Ohio State star is having a disappointing season as he’s only played in eight games due to injury.

The New York Jets could be looking into a running back since Shonn Greene is an unrestricted free agent.  Greene was the Jets third-round draft pick in the same 2009 draft from Iowa.  Even though both players are in their fourth season, Wells is three years younger than Greene.

Greene has been the more productive player in the NFL.  Greene has run for 3,349 yards with 18 touchdowns while averaging 4.2 yards per carry.  Wells has 2,471 yards with 24 touchdowns while averaging four yards per attempt.  You could make the argument that Greene has played behind a better offensive line since joining the Jets.

Wells comes with a risk as he’s only played in 16 games once in his career and that was his rookie season of 2009.  He missed three games in 2010, two games in 2011 and seven so far this season.  He’s missed time this season with knee and toe injuries.  He had knee surgery last offseason.

It was curious for Wells to come out and say he’s finished in Arizona because he’s actually signed for next season.  If the team intends to release him, it might make sense for the Jets to give him a look.  He won’t come with a large price tag due to the injury concerns.

Is he better than Greene though?  Wells has only had one 1,000-yard rushing season while Greene will finish with two in his career.  Greene only needs eleven yards on Sunday to get to 1,000.  Greene actually has more career catches out of the backfield as well.  Greene has caught 60 passes in his four years while Wells has 51.  Greene is far more durable as he’s only missed three games in his Jet career.

The Jets really need a game breaker at running back.  It doesn’t make any sense why they don’t get Joe McKnight more involved in the offense as he’s the only back on the roster that could score anywhere on the field.  If the decision comes down to keeping Greene or signing Wells, the Jets should opt for Greene.

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