Ezekiel Elliott only makes sense for the NY Jets if the price is right

NY Jets, Ezekiel Elliott
NY Jets, Ezekiel Elliott / Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets are reportedly one of three finalists to sign free-agent running back Ezekiel Elliott, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. The former All-Pro running back is reportedly deciding between the Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, and Cincinnati Bengals.

Schefter notes that Aaron Rodgers is a driving force behind Elliott's decision to consider the Jets, calling Rodgers a "lure." Of course, the Bengals have Elliott's former college teammate at Ohio State, Joe Burrow. The Eagles offer the opportunity to stay in the NFC East and compete against his former team.

Elliott was released by the Dallas Cowboys earlier this month after a seven-year tenure with the organization that featured three Pro Bowl appearances and one first-team All-Pro selection.

At 27 years old (he turns 28 in July), Elliott isn't the player he used to be. The Cowboys used a combination of Elliott and Tony Pollard over the last few seasons, and his last "great" season came back in 2019.

Still, there is value to be found in the former first-round pick. It just has to be for the right price.

The NY Jets should only consider signing Ezekiel Elliott for cheap

The Jets don't exactly have a significant hole at the running back position. The team re-signed the speedy Ty Johnson on Thursday to join the likes of Breece Hall, Michael Carter, and Zonovan Knight.

That said, Hall is recovering from a torn ACL, and there's no guarantee he's ready for Week 1. Even if he is, the Jets might want to limit his snaps early on.

Elliott can provide value as a goal-line and change-of-pace running back. He adds a powerful, physical presence that the Jets don't really have in their running back room.

With other needs and enough running back depth, however, the Jets can't afford to break the bank on Elliott. If we're talking about a contract worth $5 million or more per season, the Jets should absolutely explore other options.

Something like a one-year, $3 million contract, on the other hand, is worth considering. The Jets can add additional incentives to sweeten the deal while keeping Elliott's all-important cap hit relatively low.

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The Jets don't necessarily need Elliott, but he could be worth a flier at the right price. Aaron Rodgers, Odell Beckham, and Ezekiel Elliott together in Florham Park? Hard Knocks, anyone?