6 running backs the NY Jets could target in 2022 free agency

NY Jets, Cordarrelle Patterson
NY Jets, Cordarrelle Patterson / Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
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NY Jets, Cordarrelle Patterson
NY Jets, Cordarrelle Patterson / Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

2. NY Jets target: Rashaad Penny

Trivia question: who led the NFL in yards per carry in 2021? Was it Jonathan Taylor? Nick Chubb? Dalvin Cook? The answer is Rashaad Penny.

Sure, Penny only played in 10 games, but it was enough to qualify him for the league lead in yards per carry with a highly-efficient 6.3 yards per attempt.

The former first-round pick suffered through another injury-plagued 2021 season, but he finally began to show flashes of the player the Seahawks always hoped he would be. Penny rushed for 130 or more yards in four of the final five games of the regular season.

Despite his impressive late-season stretch, Penny's injury history will likely make whatever contract he signs a very team-friendly one. The Jets could take a flyer on a player who, when healthy, has proven he can play at a high level. And they could do so for very, very cheap.

1. NY Jets target: Cordarrelle Patterson

In a relatively weak crop of free-agent running backs, Cordarrelle Patterson might find himself as the most intriguing offseason target. Patterson has found new life as a do-it-all offensive playmaker splitting time between running back and wide receiver.

The former Minnesota Vikings' first-round pick carried the ball a career-high 153 times for 618 yards and six touchdowns for the Atlanta Falcons in 2021 while also adding a career-high 52 catches for 548 yards and five touchdowns.

At age 30, Patterson set new single-season career highs in rushes, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. His reemergence as a versatile offensive threat has been nothing short of remarkable.

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The Jets' offense would benefit greatly from adding a player like Patterson who, even at 31-years-old, is proving that his best football might still be ahead of him.