NY Jets: Bold decision made with Matt Forte over Chris Ivory
The NY Jets made a splash in free agency with the addition of Matt Forte, but with that they let Chris Ivory go to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Over the past 48 hours, Jets fans have been biting their finger nails in anticipation of a different kind of free agency period. Last season, the Jets had all the cap space in the world and utilized it with some splashy signings that paid immediate dividends.
Related Story: Jets acquire Matt Forte via free agency
This offseason, the Jets had a lot of decisions to make, but didn’t necessarily have the money to back them all up. One of those key decisions was what to do at the running back position: Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell and Stevan Ridley were all set to become unrestricted free agents.
The Jets decided to let Ivory walk and walk he did by collecting well north of $30M on a long term deal from the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The #Jaguars are signing RB Chris Ivory to a deal that’s believed to be well above $6M per year.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 9, 2016
For that amount of money, for the kind of production he provided the Jets, it simply wasn’t worth it. Though it was a dangerous proposition for the Jets, letting Ivory walk without a viable replacement was risky.
While Powell is receiving interest from across the NFL, it looks like he is as good as gone. So what did the Jets decide to do? They got the perfect complement, Ivory combined with Powell, to form Forte.
ESPN Insider Ed Werder shared some juicy details on the decision of Forte over Ivory via his Twitter account:
#Jets signed Matt Forte for approx $2M less than Chris Ivory leaving for in JAX and Todd Bowles gets better pass game contributor”
I don’t think Jets fans could have expected anything better than Forte being the next Jets’ running back. Forte possesses the trucking ability of Ivory paired along with the receiving threat of Powell, but better.
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Just when everyone is talking about the devalued position of running backs, several are getting paid this year in free agency. For the specifics on some of those deals, here is the exceptional reporting of one Adam Schefter via his Twitter account:
- Lamar Miller 4-year $26 million dollar deal with $14 million dollars guaranteed
- Doug Martin 5-year $35 million dollar deal with $15 million guaranteed and it covers an average of $7.25 million over the first three years. The max value of the deal is $42.5 million
- (As mentioned above) Ivory 5-year, $32.5 million. Between $10-$15m GTD
So to say the Jets made out very well is a gross understatement and the reigning executive of the year in Mike Maccagnan has struck magic again in his early encore of last season. Forte came relatively cheaper, he’s a better player than both Ivory and Powell, and the Jets’ offense just got a heck of a lot scarier.
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The cause and reaction of this maneuver resulted in the impending releases of Jeremy Kerley and Jeff Cumberland, saving $1.3 and $1.8 million dollars respectively. Will the Forte addition become a domino effect for the Jets during free agency? Jets fans are hoping so with Ryan Fitzpatrick and other potential Jets still on the free agent market.