NY Jets: Team should target Arian Foster
Due to salary cap issues, the NY Jets will be forced to embrace change at the running back position. Arian Foster could be an ideal buy low option for them.
Despite having a solid running game last season, the Jets will most likely need to completely overhaul the position for 2016. Power back Chris Ivory (1,070 rushing yards, 7 rushing touchdowns) and complimentary rusher Bilal Powell (313 rushing yards, 388 receiving yards) are both poised to enter free agency.
The Jets already chose to use the franchise tag on Muhammad Wilkerson, a move that will cost them a whopping $15.7 million in 2016. If possible, the organization would also like to re-sign Ryan Fitzpatrick and Damon Harrison. Those signings would easily cost the Jets another $10-15 million.
Combining the franchise’s need to retain Wilkerson, Harrison and Fitzpatrick with their salary cap struggles, it quickly becomes clear that the Jets will not be able to resign both Ivory and Powell.
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In fact, barring dramatic actions by Jets’ general manager Mike Maccagnan, its plausible that neither Ivory or Powell will be wearing green and white in 2016. Such is the cost of playing in a salary cap league.
Last offseason, Maccagnan had nearly unlimited cap space and went on a spending spree. This year, his bargain basement shopping skills are going to be put to the test.
One name that should be at the top of Maccagnan’s shopping list is former Texans’ running back Arian Foster.
At first glance, it seems that the Jets would never be able to afford Foster. The star back is still relatively young (29) and is a four-time Pro Bowler.
However, as is illustrated above, Foster’s last three seasons have been heavily hampered by injuries. He’s only played in 25 of his team’s last 48 games. As a result of his durability concerns, the Texans released Foster.
In the process, they opened up an intriguing opportunity for the Jets. Because of his injury concerns, Foster should be available at a discounted rate. If he manages to stay healthy in 2016, he would represent a huge bargain for whatever team acquires his services.
Another factor to consider is the Maccagnan connection. Before joining the Jets, Maccagnan worked in the Texans’ scouting department for over a decade. Maccagnan has seen firsthand what Foster is capable of, and would undoubtedly like to reunite with him in New York.
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In an ideal world, the Jets would re-sign Ivory and Powell or bring in a star like Matt Forte. While all of these remain options, the cash-strapped Jets should also consider more economical options like Foster. He may be just what the team needs in order to stay under the cap and in contention in 2016.