Other than the Tim Tebow signing, the Jets have had a quiet off season with free agent signings. They have gone out and signed for need, filling positions such as safety and wide receiver. One glaring need they still have is depth at the running back position. A guy that nobody has talked about, but would make an excellent fit for the New York Jets is former Colts running back, Joseph Addai.
First of all, the need for a running back is great. Ladainian Tomlinson is not returning, he pretty much made that clear at the end of the season. Talking about a locker room that was the “worst locker room I have ever been in”, is not a place a guys sounds like he is coming back to. That leaves Joe McKnight, and Bilal Powell behind Shonn Greene. These are guys that are unproven, and a team that is looking to make a Super Bowl appearance needs proven depth at the running back position. Mark Sanchez needs depth at the running back position, he needs weapons.
Joseph Addai, being more of a speed running back, would make the perfect compliment to Shonn Greene. Jets fans have seen Greene at his best, and that is when he is giving us the power running game. Running between the tackles and pushing the pile is when Shonn Greene is most effective. This would be a complete contrast to Joseph Addai who is a speed running back, best on the outside. The pace change that Addai would give the Jets would be quite effective as they make the return to “ground and pound”.
Now, think about the Jets’ offense under Rex Ryan. It has been at its most effective with a back that can catch passes out of the backfield. This adds another weapon for Mark Sanchez that only makes the Jets more dangerous. Thomas Jones filled that role, and Ladainian Tomlinson filled that role for the two years afterward. Joseph Addai is a far better receiver out of the backfield than Shonn Greene, the stats bear it out. Over his first 3 years in the league, Shonn Greene has 46 receptions to his credit. Addai nearly broke that in his rookie season! Addai had 40 receptions in his rookie year, 191 so far in his career, and until injuries befell Addai the last couple of years, he never had less than 25 receptions in a season. This is a necessary weapon for the “ground and pound” to be effective. Shonn Greene’s pass catching skills are improving, but they are far from Joseph Addai’s.
Doesn’t it feel like Addai has been around a long time? How old do you think he is? 33? 32? Wrong, he is only 28 years old. He is in the prime of his career. He hasn’t hit that magic number of 30, where running backs typically start to decline. And, his mileage is not what you would think it is, somewhat because of injury, but it is still low for a guy in the league for six years. After rushing the ball over 200 times 3 out of his first 4 years in the league, he has only rushed the ball 234 times over the last TWO YEARS. Yes that is due to injury, agreed. But, if Addai is healthy, and that can be figured out with a physical and a workout, he should have many carries left in him.
Finally, you would have to think he could be had on the fairly cheap at this point. He hasn’t generated a lot of buzz on the free agent market this off season, which would drive down the number he gets. He is coming off an injury plagued season, so if he wants to work, he can’t be expecting the big free agent contract. The Jets don’t have a lot of salary cap space, so this could figure in well.
Mike Tannenbaum, we need a running back. Addai is out there, and would be a great fit. Go get him.