New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas may not be done adding to the backfield despite signing Frank Gore and drafting Lamical Perine.
Reports came out earlier in the offseason that the New York Jets were serious about moving Le’Veon Bell and taking on a running back-by-committee approach. That may still be the case if there’s any truth to the latest rumor.
According to NFL.com’s Mike Silver, the Jets have shown interest in former Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman.
The Seahawks' offer to free agent RB Devonta Freeman is a one-year deal that would be worth up to $4 million. He has also attracted interest from the Jets and Eagles.
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) May 20, 2020
Silver additionally reports that the Seattle Seahawks have offered Freeman a one-year deal worth up to $4 million. Since he hasn’t signed the contract, it stands to reason that Devonta is looking to beat that offer.
It’s difficult to think that the Jets would make this sort of move. They’ve already spent capital on the running back position this offseason, having signed Frank Gore to a one-year deal and drafting Lamical Perine in the 4th round. It’s unlikely the Jets would dole out another $5 million (at least) on a running back unless they could get rid of Bell’s contract.
Bell is set to count nearly $15.5 million against the cap in 2020. Finding a taker for that contract after a down year seems impossible. Nonetheless, if they could somehow part ways with Le’Veon, Freeman would indeed look interesting.
The former Falcon is coming off a down year after injuries ruined his 2018 campaign. He also recorded the fewest carries of his career in 2019 (minimum 13 starts). The lack of a consistent role and the rust from injuries could’ve contributed to his struggles. Freeman would thus make sense to lead a running back committee on a cheap one-year deal.
He can add power in short-yardage situations and is excellent as a receiver. His all-around game fits exactly what the Jets have looked for this entire offseason with Gore and Perine fitting similar molds.
This rumor doesn’t make much sense as things stand, but it would take one move to fix that. Keep an eye out for news or rumors regarding Bell. If the Jets are going to make a move for another running back, it’ll likely come after he’s already off the roster.