The New York Jets are reportedly interested in trading for New Orleans Saints Restricted Free Agent Running Back, Chris Ivory. The Jets hosted Ivory for a visit on Friday, but are unlikely to sign him to an offer sheet due to the second round tender New Orleans placed on him earlier this offseason. New York would prefer to exchange a later round draft pick for Ivory, rather than surrendering the 39th overall pick, according to multiple reports.
Depending on the required compensation to acquire Ivory from the Saints, this has the potential to be New York’s best free agent addition under new General Manager John Idzik. Ivory has been buried in a deep stable of backs in a pass first offense in New Orleans, and has yet to truly get a chance to tap into his potential. At 25 years old, and with just 256 career carries, Ivory has plenty of tread left on his tires and has the talent to break out in an expanded role.
Ivory is a tough runner who would be a nice complement to New York’s other free agent RB addition, Mike Goodson, who is viewed more as a speed back with big play ability. Ivory would presumably form a solid one-two punch in the Jets backfield with Goodson, giving New York quality balance at the running back position. If Goodson can remain healthy, he and Ivory would likely form a significant upgrade to what the Jets had at the position in 2012.
The interesting part becomes the compensation. In a draft with quality depth at running back, how high of a pick will the Jets be willing to sacrifice? Ivory is likely a better option than any back in the 4th round or later this year, and although his salary would be higher than a player drafted in that range, he is the better bet to produce more at a faster rate.
The interest in Ivory is an indication that Idzik and the Jets front office are continuing, what seems to be, an improving trend in the organization’s scouting department. We have been banging the table for the Jets to take a look at Ivory for a while here at Turn On The Jets, as have many Jets fans who took notice of Ivory last August when he was on display throughout the Saints preseason schedule.
Ivory has played in 24 career games since signing with the Saints as an undrafted free agent out of Tiffin University in 2010. For what limited role he has had in New Orleans, Ivory has run for 1,307 yards with a career average of 5.1 YPC and 8 touchdowns.