Late last week free agent to be running back Chris Ivory indicated he is not sure whether the Jets will keep him.
"I'm not sure what's going to happen," Ivory told Around The NFL Friday. "I would like to stay in New York if we reach an agreement. But I know the cap space they're working with and everything and the other guys they have to get signed or want to get signed back. But if it doesn't work out, I'm just looking forward to continuing my career elsewhere if it happens to go that way."
I am not sure whether the big obstacle here is the amount of cap space the Jets have. It is more whether Ivory is a wise investment.
This year confirmed to me something that I have believed for a long time. Ivory would be best used as a change of pace guy for the first three quarters of a game and then to pound on a defense in the fourth quarter. He is the type of back for whom a pitch count is important. The thing that makes him so effective as a runner, his physicality, is also his biggest curse. It makes him more susceptible to injuries. These aren't even necessarily injuries that will keep him from playing. Sometimes they make him less effective as a runner. We saw the results of the bumps and bruises as the season progressed.
The Jets got Ivory at a bargain price. Sometimes the temptation is to be afraid of losing a player like this and overpaying when the right move is identifying the next bargain. It isn't that I want Ivory. I would love for the Jets to keep him at the right price and in the right role. I just would be a little nervous about making a big investment. Ivory's decline is unlikely to be graceful. Even though he doesn't have a ton of carries under his belt, he has taken a large pounding.