NY Jets: 3 options to upgrade the running back position in the offseason

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NY Jets

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The NY Jets will look to upgrade the running back position in the offseason.

The NY Jets will be in the running back market yet again this offseason. Just two years ago, New York gave out a megadeal to free agent Le’Veon Bell.

It was a four-year deal worth $52 million, with $35 million guaranteed that seemed destined to give the Jets their most talented offensive playmaker in years. However, things never seemed to work out in New York for either Bell or the Jets.

Adam Gase will be gone so that means Frank Gore will likely follow him out the door. The 37-year old Gore leads the Jets in carries and rushing yards this season. Having a 37-year old running back as your lead back is far from ideal, especially for a two-win team.

The Jets used a fourth-round draft pick on La’Mical Perine this past offseason. The rookie running back hasn’t been given much of an opportunity as Gase’s infatuation with Gore has taken away meaningful reps from Perine.

Even in limited time, Perine hasn’t shown many flashes of being the go-to guy in the Jets backfield. The New Jets should dip into free agency or the 2021 NFL Draft to find their lead back for next season.

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1. The NY Jets could sign Jamaal Williams

There are some viable options in free agency. The Jets shouldn’t have to break the bank for these free-agent running backs nor should they have to target someone like Aaron Jones.

Jamaal Williams is a running back that the Jets should consider targeting. The Green Bay Packers will have the 25-year old Williams hitting the free-agent market, but so too will the aforementioned Aaron Jones.

Jones is a top-10 running back in the league and it seems more and more probable that Green Bay opts to bring him back. As for Williams, the odds are not as likely.

The Packers also drafted running back A.J. Dillon in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Williams is likely to walk in free agency and the Jets should take a hard look in his direction.

Williams has shown the ability to catch the ball and be a legitimate weapon out of the backfield. He is also very solid in pass protection which should help him carve out a role in the offense.

The former BYU running back hasn’t fumbled in 495 carries, evidence of his sure hands out of the backfield. In each of the past four seasons, Williams has caught at least 25 passes and rushed for at least 450 yards.

Even though he lacks breakaway speed, he has taken advantage of his limited opportunities and deserves more of a featured role going forward. He has the potential to be a 1,000-yard rusher with 50+ catches if given a full-time starting role.

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