The Jets trading for Chris Ivory is a good sign for them in more ways than one.
The on-field positives are obvious: while Ivory may be buried on a Saints depth chart that is loaded with first-round picks and established veterans, but when given a chance to shine, Ivory runs as hard as anyone and gets yards after contact with enough lateral agility to make people miss.
Ivory can also catch the ball and is not a liability in protection, making him the Jets new foundation back, provided he stays healthy.
Either way, you would have a hard time finding many runners in this draft—let alone in the fourth round—that would be as productive as Ivory, especially in the immediate future.
The Jets have had this plan in place for a while now, as they have intentions of giving Ivory a long-term deal, according to Adam Schefter:
Jets now expected to sign newly-acquired RB Chris Ivory to a long-term contract, per sources. Deal called "likely."— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 27, 2013
As good as this trade looks on paper for the Jets, there is still a chance that Ivory will struggle to stay on the field with his injury history.
Still, even if Ivory does not live up to the big contract he is about to get, this is a good sign for the Jets.
Why? Because for the first time in a long time, the Jets have direction.
Gone are the days in which the Jets lived for the present moment, making deals that would help them in the short-term in a desperate grab for a championship. John Idzik has a plan in place that he will see through, for better or worse.
Despite fielding one of the worst offenses in football last year, Idzik spent his first two picks on defensive players—including a cornerback to replace an all-time great. Less than a day later, he drafted the top quarterback in the draft without panicking and trading up to do so. Rather than attacking needs for the immediate future, Idzik has done his homework on how he wants to build his roster and is not swaying from the plan he spent the last four months constructing.
Ivory was a player the Jets have been targeting for several weeks, but the two sides could not agree on compensation.
Ultimately, the Jets gave in and coughed up the fourth-round pick, but don't look at it from the perspective of Idzik losing a negotiation. Idzik wanted Ivory on his team in 2013, and he was not going to let a relatively minor dispute in compensation stop him from having the team he envisioned.
The basis of Idzik's grand plan is to build competition, evidenced by the addition of Geno Smith to a crowded quarterback room, selecting Sheldon Richardson to add the third first-round defensive lineman in three years and now with the trade for Chris Ivory, who joins a backfield with three other established runners.
The Jets are not about filling holes year-to-year. They are going to bring in as many talented players as possible and let them duke it out for playing time. No one will be comfortable, but they will be better players for it.
Yes, adding Chris Ivory is going to do a lot for the Jets offense, which is void of dynamic players at the running back position, but the best part of this trade is that the Jets are finally showing flashes of stability and organization for a team that is in desperate need of direction.