Jan 1, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Rex Burkhead (33) carries the ball for a touchdown after breaking a tackle against Baltimore Ravens strong safety Matt Elam (33) in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Jets would be wise to acquire another running back when the free agency period begins. Here are the top three they should target.
With uncertainty at the quarterback position next season, it would be best that the New York Jets add another running back into the mix. At this point in time, they surely can’t put all their faith in both Matt Forte and Bilal Powell in being able to play all season long without missing playing time.
While both running backs are solid options to have in the backfield, they are injury prone. Should either a decline in play occur or they get injured, the Jets will find themselves in another disaster of a situation come next season.
Since the Jets are in a full rebuilding mode this offseason, they should add a running back that has experience, some success, and can be a dual-threat option. One that can run the ball when needed or help open up the passing game as a receiving option out of the backfield.
Without further ado, here are the top three running backs the Jets should target come free agency.
Next: 3. Rex Burkhead
Nov 27, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Rex Burkhead (33) breaks the tackle of Baltimore Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) in the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
3. Rex Burkhead
The Jets shouldn’t be looking for any big name running backs to add in free agency. They merely need to add another player for depth and someone that has potential to step up and deliver when needed.
Running back Rex Burkhead fits this need rather well. Spending the last four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, Burkhead made most of the opportunities given to him. He filled in well when those above him were out due to injury and was able to do his part.
Last season, Burkhead totaled his best year yet with 344 rushing yards, 74 attempts, and two touchdowns. As a receiving option, Burkhead totaled 145 yards on 17 receptions.
He would be a nice addition to the running back corps of the Jets. He’s young and looks like he’s only getting better when more opportunities come his way.
Next: 2. Jacquizz Rodgers
Running back Jacquizz Rodgers is still trying to find his way into being a key contributor on offense. Relegated as mostly a main backup throughout his career, Rodgers has been on three different teams so far.
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Still trying to find his stride, he hits free agency looking for an ideal situation. The Jets will more than likely commit to running the football next season due to their uncertain situation at quarterback and well, Rodgers would be an ideal and inexpensive acquisition.
Last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Rodgers is coming off his best season yet. Rodgers totaled 560 rushing yards, 129 attempts, and two touchdowns. Rodgers does have some experience as a receiving option but again, the Jets could use him as decent depth to come in and spell relief for either Forte or Powell.
Rodgers is a player on the rise that could surprise many if given opportunities to step in and take care of business whenever his number is called. Best of all, the Jets could be able to sign him to a short-term deal without breaking the bank to acquire his services. Make no mistake about it, Rodgers has plenty of potential in his future.
Next: 1. Andre Ellington
Nov 20, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington (38) catches a pass and Minnesota Vikings linebacker Emmanuel Lamur (59) tackles him in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 30-24. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
When it comes to one of the hidden gems set to hit free agency, running back Andre Ellington is easily one of them. Before running back David Johnson was making a name for himself with the Arizona Cardinals, Ellington looked to be the real deal.
With the emergence of Johnson, Ellington took a backseat and well, got buried on the depth chart. As he’s set to hit free agency, the Jets would be wise to target him since he’s just 28-years-old and could easily be a running back that contributes well in the right system.
While Ellington will more than likely look for a team that will give him an opportunity to start, his past of being injured might not present him with such options. Regardless, he would be a solid fit for the Jets in a rotational role with their running backs.
Having a triple-headed monster of Forte, Powell, and Ellington would be great as it would bring experience, execution, and speed to the positional group. Ellington has a knack in making big plays when needed so he has the ability to really surprise many once he’s given the football.