New York Jets: Running Back Should Not Be Top Focus in 2014 Free Agency

By Nick Mamary
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

There were obvious issues in the New York Jets passing game this past season. Quarterback Geno Smith enjoyed some solid moments during his rookie year, but there were plenty of struggles. Having 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions looked bad on paper. He showcased big-time arm strength and mobility.

Weakness at wide receiver came partly from injuries that robbed Smith constantly of top target Santonio Holmes who struggled to stay in the lineup. Jeremy Kerley provides a great slot receiver while in-season pickup David Nelson provides solid depth. Finding at least one starter should be a priority. This time of year provides many opinions on what every team needs to improve their fortunes for next season.

The Jets traded a fourth-round pick for running back Chris Ivory during last offseason. Ivory compiled 833 yards long with a 4.6 yards per carry average. Power is definitely on display while he runs between tackles. Bilal Powell added 697 yards as these two proved to create an effective duo. What general manager John Idzik should add here is a third option to mix things up. One concern with current backs is that they only combined for four rushing scores.

Impending free agent Darren McFadden offers intrigue based on name recognition. Staying on the field has been difficult with him, and he would most likely price himself out of New York’s range anyway. Chris Johnson could become available after news of looming surgery. Again, I would be worried about durability. Other talented players like Willis McGahee are out there, but the Jets should feel confident enough in their own two guys. Addressing this position with a late-round Draft pick like De’Anthony Thomas or Storm Johnson would allow this team to fix more pressing needs first.


Nick Mamary is a New York Jets writer for Follow him on Twitter @NickMamary1, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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