Despite underutilizing and undervaluing him throughout his first three years in the NFL, the New Orleans Saints decided to tender running back Chris Ivory at the second-round level this offseason. Now, it appears that he was simply seen as trade bait.
According to reports, the New York Jets are very interested in acquiring Ivory, a promising yet injury-prone power running back. They brought him in for a visit on Friday, but are likely unwilling to send their second-round pick (No. 39 overall) to the Saints in order to get him.
If the Jets really were interested in trading for Ivory, there’s another route that they could take.
In an ideal world, Ivory would sign his one-year restricted free agent tender. The Saints would then be able to trade him to the Jets, likely receiving something in the form of a fifth- or sixth-round pick as compensation.
At this point, the Jets don’t have the assets or confidence in their roster to part ways with a second-round pick. GM John Idzik is already on a short leash, and giving up the No. 39 overall pick for an injury-prone running back wouldn’t help his cause.
Meanwhile, the Saints can use all of the extra picks they can get. They currently only have five picks available after forfeiting a second-rounder due to the “Bounty Gate” scandal and trading their seventh-rounder to the Seattle Seahawks. Any bit of extra firepower they can get on draft day will help a roster that’s desperately trying to rebound from a disappointing 2012 campaign.
Ivory has been the odd man out in the Saints’ backfield since his second season with the team. Seeing as he spent 2012 as the fourth running back on the depth chart, they might as well get something in return before he walks via free agency in 2014.