Dec 15, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Felix Jones (23) runs with the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

A Cheap Alternative to Chris Johnson for the New York Jets

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When the Jets are in play for a highly paid free agent, you know the Jets are interested in improving the position. Other than Eric Decker and Michael Vick, who have the Jets been interested in? Lesser-known, secondary level names that come as low risk, high reward options. So, when the Jets are looking at a big name, you know that the position is a place of need.

That’s what we have when talking about the pursuit of Chris Johnson. If the Jets are after a guy that could cost a lot, you know the Jets feel they need to improve the position. So we turn our attention to adding a running back into the fold.

What happens if Chris Johnson chooses another team? We know how John Idzik works. He sets a number for a player and doesn’t vary too far from it as well. So what if Chris doesn’t like it? What’s next for the Jets. Well there is a guy that would even be more affordable, and could be used similarly. That guy is Felix Jones.

Take a look at his career stats:

Rushing & Receiving

Rushing Receiving
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS Att Yds TD Lng Y/A Y/G A/G Rec Yds Y/R TD Lng R/G Y/G YScm RRTD Fmb AV
2008 21 DAL 28 6 0 30 266 3 60 8.9 44.3 5.0 2 10 5.0 0 7 0.3 1.7 276 3 0 3
2009 22 DAL KR 28 14 1 116 685 3 56 5.9 48.9 8.3 19 119 6.3 0 30 1.4 8.5 804 3 3 5
2010 23 DAL rb 28 16 7 185 800 1 34 4.3 50.0 11.6 48 450 9.4 1 71 3.0 28.1 1250 2 2 9
2011 24 DAL rb 28 12 8 127 575 1 40 4.5 47.9 10.6 33 221 6.7 0 27 2.8 18.4 796 1 5 6
2012 25 DAL rb 28 16 7 111 402 3 22 3.6 25.1 6.9 26 266 10.2 2 39 1.6 16.6 668 5 2 5
2013 26 PIT 23 16 2 48 184 0 14 3.8 11.5 3.0 9 63 7.0 0 15 0.6 3.9 247 0 1 2
Career 80 25 617 2912 11 60 4.7 36.4 7.7 137 1129 8.2 3 71 1.7 14.1 4041 14 13 30
5 yrs DAL 64 23 569 2728 11 60 4.8 42.6 8.9 128 1066 8.3 3 71 2.0 16.7 3794 14 12 28
1 yr PIT 16 2 48 184 0 14 3.8 11.5 3.0 9 63 7.0 0 15 0.6 3.9 247 0 1 2

The Jets don’t need a guy that is going to carry the ball 25 times per game, unless Chris Ivory were to go down with an injury. They need a player to perform 12-15 touches, get the ball on the outside, and make something happen.

That is right up the alley of Felix Jones. Jones has averaged 8.2 yards per reception out of the backfield. CJ2K has averaged 7.4 yards per catch. As explosive as Johnson has been, Felix Jones has been, statistically speaking, more explosive than Chris Johnson.

Don’t forget that, as a rusher, Jones has averaged 4.7 yards per carry for his career as well. Johnson? 4.6 yards per carry.

In terms of use, Felix Jones has actually carried the ball less than half of the times that Chris Johnson has. That tells us that Jones has a lot of mileage still remaining on his belt. As a part-time player, he would fit in well. If he has to go 25-30 times in a game I will be worried, but not 12-15 times.

He won’t nearly be as expensive as Chris Johnson should be.

Am I saying that the talent of the two are even close. Chris Johnson obviously is far more talented. But injuries can begin a new era for teams. Now with the team structured as it is, they need a change of pace running back. If Johnson is it, maybe it COULD be Felix Jones, right?

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Tags: Chris Johnson Felix Jones New York Jets Nfl Free Agency

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