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Shonn Greene: Stay or Go?

Jim McIsaac

A second straight 1,000 yard season for Shonn Greene seemed very hollow this year. Despite hitting the milestone, Greene never gave the Jets a rushing attack they could count on carrying the offense from week to week. Despite running like a power back, his 2.1 yards per carry after contact rated him near the bottom of the league in that area. Greene does not change direction well. He does not make people miss. The second gear that made him look like a young Michael Turner as a rookie has disappeared. His lack of pass catching skills as suspect blocking make him a two down back. He follows monster games with pedestrian ones.

Greene had a nice late season flourish that coincided with Bilal Powell's workload increasing. That showed Greene's ideal usage. He has been miscast as the top dog in the backfield. He can be effective as the hard charging between the tackles hammer in a tandem. He is the guy you whack the defense with when it is tired in the fourth quarter. He can play in the NFL, but the Jets were wrong to make him a full time starter. The way Terry Bradway reportedly talked Mike Tannenbaum into trading almost all of the team's picks on the final day of the 2009 Draft was surely a mistake.

Greene is going to be a free agent this year. The Jets should let him go. The cap fit is going to be tight, and the Jets can get similar production for cheaper from what they will have to pay Greene. Running back is the one position in the NFL where you can find a player from the scrap heap, plug him in, and get immediate production. The Jets should be looking at young players with upside to play running back, not paying more for a known mediocrity.