As announced by Adam Schefter, Jets feature back Chris Ivory is now anticipated to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars after three years in New York. His contract will be upwards of $6 million per year, which will place Ivory sixth in average salary per year among the league's running backs.
Former Jets' RB Chris Ivory is expected to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars when new league year begins, per league source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2016
It was previously reported that Ivory drew interest from several teams, and his future with the Jets has been extremely unclear due to a limited amount of cap space, especially when the priority has been to keep the defensive line together. Just yesterday, Manish Mehta mentioned that both the Raiders and Buccaneers were two of those seven organizations that might pursue the 27-year-old back. The Jets were hopeful in retaining last season's backfield, yet this possibility grew slim with Ivory's continued attraction, especially from the Raiders who have more cap space and would be able to offer more money than the Jets in a bidding war.
It's not the end of the world for Gang Green to say farewell to Ivory, because this is his first real opportunity to hit it big in his career by earning a large contract, and he may not be worth it for New York. Ivory jumped out to an incredibly hot start in 2015, racking up an impressive 460 total rushing yards on 83 carries through the first four games of the season. However, with his aggressive running style, Ivory unavoidably takes a beating, and it showed throughout the remainder of the year. He became inconsistent, as he didn't appear fully healthy and production dropped.
Whether through free agency or the draft, the Jets will need to fill a hole in the backfield heading into 2016 with both Bilal Powell and Stevan Ridley being pending free agents. Some possible options could be veterans Alfred Morris or Matt Forte, who could potentially fill a Ladainian Tomlinson type role, but the Jets will be working with very little cap space. In addition, Mel Kiper Jr.'s most recent mock draft projects Ezekiel Elliott to the NYJ at the 20th overall pick.