The New York Jets finally received some good news at the running back position with the return of free agent acquisition Mike Goodson. The positive vibes didn’t last long however, as the NFL immediately handed Goodson a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
The Jets signed Goodson to a three-year, $6.9 million contract this offseason with the belief that he would be a perfect fit for the new West Coast offense that the team is installing. Goodson has blazing speed and is a very good receiver out of the backfield, and he was expected to fill the third-down back role for the Jets.
However, Goodson was arrested for illegal possession of a firearm and marijuana possession soon after his signing, adding to the legal woes he has experienced throughout his short career. The case is still not settled, and the firearm charges carries a minimum sentence of three years in prison if convicted, which, needless to say, would end Goodson’s career.
Goodson’s role with the Jets upon his return is unclear. Bilal Powell has emerged in training camp, and he will be the third-down back during Goodson’s suspension. Powell does not have the explosiveness of Goodson, so if he isn’t a threat out of the backfield, then the door will be open for Goodson to assume a fairly large role in the offense when he returns.
Powell has been struggled in two of his three preseason games, and starter Chris Ivory has not looked good in his limited appearances either. The Jets just cut Joe McKnight, which leaves Goodson as the only true speed and receiving back on the roster. He will be fighting an uphill battle when he comes back, but if the Jets’ running back situation is still as unsettled as it is now, then Goodson will be given an opportunity.
Obviously, the legal process could continue to play out and drastically change this situation. However, assuming Goodson does not face prison time, he could still become the player the Jets thought they were getting when they signed him. The Jets badly need playmakers who can really threaten a defense, and Goodson could still become one of those players.