We are a little under 24 hours past the opening of the free agency period. We have already seen some moves, with the maneuvering of Percy Harvin as well as the steal of the year, Anquan Boldin to the Raiders for a sixth round draft pick. But what are the Jets to do? We know that they will need a lot of help in the running game, but don’t have a lot of money to play with. What are the Jets to do? Hmmmmmmm….
Earlier this week, the Cardinals decided to say goodbye to running back Beanie Wells. The question is whether or not the Jets should invest any time into researching , and /or potentially signing the former Cardinal. Let’s talk about it.
Wells is still a young player, a guy that should have a lot of time left at age 24. His college career is recent enough that it is worth noting. In three years at Ohio State, he never averaged less than 5.5 yards per carry, and scored 30 TDs over that time period.
His time as the lead back has been limited due to injuries, but when he HAS played, Beanie has, for the most part, made good on his opportunities. . \
In 2011 for example, Beanie Wells started all of the fourteen games he was available for, and he ran well. He ran it 245 times for 1,047 yards and 10 TDs, and nearly 75 yards per game on the ground.
However, when you look at his grades from Pro Football Focus, you see that Wells’ game lacks a little bit of “something” In a year where he rushed for 228 and 138 in a game, Wells still only ranked a -9.4 overall, and even Greene was better than that. He could only manage a 1.6 rating. Look at his week to week graph, and one thing become remarkably obvious. Beanie Wells is not a good blocker. -.04 in an offense that needs short passing would be the quickest way to make things worse.
On the other hand, you can take a look at his stats from the last two seasons, and see a different, yet interesting role for Wells going forward. Over a fairly heavy load in 2011, and a small load due to injury in 2012, totalling 333 carries overall, Beanie Wells posted 15 TDs. That amounts to a touchdown every 4.5 carries since 2011. That’s actually pretty darn efficient if you ask me.
Maybe he could work for someone in that short yardage, Jerome Bettis-like role. It’s something to at least think about.
The biggest issue when talking about Chris “Beanie” Wells is durability. Basically, he has none. Since 2009, his body has only obliged us with a 16 game season once. Obviously, it would hard to invest any kind of serious money into a guy with durability issues.
The other issue to look at is how Beanie would function in the West Coast offense. We have talked chapter and verse about the role of a running back in this system. What must they do? Say it with me? Catch the football!
Beanie Wells is not particularly adept at catching the football. Even in his rookie year when he played 16 games, he only recorded 12 receptions. Shonn Greene has actually developed into a better receiver than Wells.
Scary thought, isn’t it?
To me, Beanie would not be a good investment. His skill set and durability are not a good fit for our new system. Unless he wanted to play a Jerome Bettis type role, look somewhere else.
Don’t waste our time, John Idzik.