The New York Jets must decide whether or not the running back position needs money thrown at it or to settle down on value.
Fortunately, the Jets have a ton of capital to execute that plan. From millions of dollars to premium draft picks, the world is the Jets oyster.
But just because you have a lot of moolah doesn’t mean you have to spend it all. One key area the Jets 100 percent need to improve is their backfield. Over the last few years, to be candid, it has been lackluster.
Specialty players have been shoved into starting roles and it hasn’t manifested into consistent success.
Reports are surfacing the Jets are going to move on from current starter Isaiah Crowell.
By releasing him sooner rather then later, the Jets will save a $2 million roster bonus if he’s not on the team by the third day of the new league year, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
Crowell’s mundane play on the field simply didn’t outweigh all the baggage off of it. From the troubling Instagram post of a police officer being murdered to his crude touchdown celebration, clearly, the Jets have seen enough.
Celebrated veteran Bilal Powell is scheduled to be a free agent and he’s coming off of a serious neck injury and is on the wrong side of 30.
The #Jets Zone w/ @BoyGreen25:
– Breaking down #NFLDraft value chart
– How Kyler Murray news affects #nyj
– Von Miller trade?
– Does Joe Flacco rule out Broncos in QB market?
– Answering your #jetsmail
– @JCaporoso drops by
– & some!https://t.co/P1bNfNJ4sF
— The Jets Zone (@TheJets_Zone) February 13, 2019
This all means the Jets have two clear options in the free agency pool: filet mignon or chicken.
Let’s start off with the chicken, the cheapest piece of meat available. But just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it tastes horrible.
Tevin Coleman, running back, Atlanta Falcons:
- 25 years old (will be 26 by the start of the 2019 season)
- 6-foot-1, 205 pounds
- In his four-year NFL career, Tevin has run for 2,340 yards on 528 attempts for 18 rushing touchdowns on 4.4 yards per clip. While also contributing 92 receptions for 1,010 yards and posting an additional 11 touchdowns.
Coleman’s body doesn’t have a ton of wear-and-tear on it from playing off the bench and he can help both in the running and receiving game. What is his value on the open market?
According to the ESPN 2019 NFL Offseason Dominoes Predictor:
Tevin Coleman joins the Jets for three years and $15 million
That’s a very friendly deal for a running back and would allow the Jets to spread their resources. When have we seen that strategy before?
Just think back to last season when the Jets were reportedly willing to pay $90 million to Kirk Cousins. Cousins left the Jets high-and-dry and the team went to plan b and drafted Sam Darnold. Hindsight is 20-20, but who wouldn’t take that deal 10 times out of 10 again if we could repeat history?
It allowed the Jets to have the financial flexibility to spread that money to other key parts of the roster and early on it appears to have worked out for the long term of the Jets. Now, they face a similar scenario. If Le’Veon Bell thinks he’s too good for the Jets, the team can feel good about their backup option.
The Filet Mignon
This has been speculated for months that the Jets would back their truck right into Le’Veon Bell‘s driveway with millions of dollars stashed away in it. That is very much in the conversation and could happen come March.
How much money will be in that truck? According to the ESPN 2019 NFL Offseason Dominoes Predictor:
Bell signs a five-year, $76 million deal with the Jets
Usually, I wouldn’t advocate giving that kind of money to a running back, but this is a rare situation. Sam Darnold is on his rookie deal, which means there’s extra quarterback money laying between the cushions.
The Jets have an exorbitant amount of cold hard cash and Bell appears to be the clear No. 1 option on the free agent market. As much as I would rather spend that money on the offensive line, there’s no player worthy of that kind of dough on the free agent market in 2019.
While finally, Bell is just a special talent. He’s not only one of the best running backs in the NFL, but he’s also arguably one of the best receivers as well.
The Jets need playmakers and there’s no better one then Bell. Don’t believe me? Look at the stats:
- Over the past two years, Bell has rushed for over 2,400 yards and has a combined 16 touchdowns on the ground. Over those same two years, he also caught 160 receptions for 1,271 yards and has posted an additional four touchdowns through the air.
While there are legitimate concerns about all the mileage that is on this car, it’s worth it for the Jets. Sometimes you have to risk it to get the biscuit and this is one of those scenarios.
Ultimately, though, the Jets are in a great position. They’ll either get a premier player in Bell and instantly improve the offense or snag a poor man’s version of Bell in Tevin Coleman and still have a ton of wealth to spread around to the rest of the team.
Gang green is in a win-win scenario in this upcoming free agency period.