Chris Ivory: Latest News, Rumors, Speculation Surrounding Free-Agent RB

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2016

New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) rushes during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015, in East Rutherford, N.J.  (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Despite making the Pro Bowl for the first time this season, New York Jets running back Chris Ivory's future with Gang Green is very much in question.

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Ivory Unsure of Status With Jets

Saturday, Jan. 30

According to's Conor Orr, the veteran back doesn't know if he will return to the Jets in 2016 and beyond because of the organization's salary cap situation:

I'm not sure what's going to happen. I would like to stay in New York if we reach an agreement. But I know the cap space they're working with and everything and the other guys they have to get signed or want to get signed back. But if it doesn't work out, I'm just looking forward to continuing my career elsewhere if it happens to go that way.

The 27-year-old Ivory set career highs in 2015 with 247 carries for 1,070 yards and seven touchdowns, along with 30 receptions for 217 yards and an additional score.   

In a season that saw many of the NFL's top running backs go down with injuries, Ivory appeared in 15 games and was one of only seven backs to top 1,000 rushing yards.

With a number of stars set to hit free agency, including defensive linemen Muhammad Wilkerson and Damon Harrison and starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, however, funds could run thin for the Jets.

Younger, speedier running back Bilal Powell is also a free agent, which means the Jets may have to choose between their two top rushers.

While injuries limited Powell to just 11 games, he averaged 4.5 yards per rush and was a major force as a pass-catcher out of the backfield with 47 grabs for 388 yards.

Although Ivory is a huge reason why the Jets won 10 games and very nearly made the playoffs in 2015, finding quality running backs has seemingly become easier than ever before, as late-round picks routinely develop into starters.

The Jets must also consider the fact that Ivory will be 28 years old when the 2016 campaign begins, and he is a six-year veteran, which means signing him to a deal beyond two years would be risky based on the penchant for many backs breaking down after the age of 30.

New York is in an extremely difficult spot with so many impact players hitting free agency at the same time, and while keeping a tough runner like Ivory would be ideal, he is a player they can afford to lose and replace more easily than their studs along the defensive line and starting signal-caller.


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