New York Jets' Pursuit of Chris Ivory Raises Questions

By Dan Pizzuta
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Restricted free agent Chris Ivory, currently of the New Orleans Saints, visited with the New York Jets over the weekend.

Earlier in the offseason, New Orleans offered Ivory a second-round tender contract worth around $2 million for one year. If the Jets are going to acquire Ivory, it will not be for a second-round price. The plan for a deal between the two teams would involve Ivory signing his tender with the Saints and the Jets trading a late round pick — possibly a 5th- or 6th-rounder — for the running back.

Considering generally it’s an awful idea to give up any type of high draft pick for a running back — in a trade or while drafting — getting around the second-round tender for Ivory would be a wise decision.

In a vacuum, a really, really good argument could convince someone this plan makes sense for the Jets  — you’re not going to find that argument here.

If the Jets are planning on using a 5th- or 6th-round draft pick on a running back, why not use the pick to draft one who is going to cost way less than $2 million this season and could easily match the production Ivory was be asked to contribute?

Running back is the easiest position in football to find a player during the later rounds of the draft who can step in immediately, and because of the draft position, come at a way cheaper price.

There’s a good chance the Jets can find a very similar back in the draft and save about $1.5 million on one player.

Now let’s assume the Jets just really want Ivory and don’t care about any of the backs available in the draft — regardless of how terrible this strategy would be. There are still some questions.

If the Jets had any plans of pursuing Ivory at any point this offseason, why would they sign Mike Goodson to a three-year/$6 million contract? Goodson and Ivory are almost the exact same back in standard and advanced stats. Last season Goodson ran 33 times for 219 and a 24.9% DVOA from Football Outsiders, while Ivory ran 40 times for 217 yards and a 12.6% DVOA.

Instead of overpaying one of those backs, the Jets are on the verge of wasting $4 million of cap space this season on two very similar players.

The most pressing question arising is if Jets management thinks running backs are the key to improving the offense. If that happens to be the case, then this team has way more issues than we’re currently crediting them with.

Instead of fortifying the offensive line or bringing in a cheap veteran receiver, the Jets are looking to stockpile versatile rushers like a bad Hoarders episode.

So far this offseason, new GM John Idzik has done nothing to prove he attended any meetings while part of the Seattle Seahawks front office — especially since they haven’t missed a beat since his departure.

If this is the game plan for the Jets, this offseason is going to turn out like last year’s offense.


Follow Dan on Twitter @DanPizzuta

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