Isaiah Crowell Released by Jets After Le'Veon Bell Contract Agreement

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2019

New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell (20) runs with the ball during an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018 in East Rutherford, N.J. (Ed Mulholland/AP Images for Panini)
Ed Mulholland/Associated Press

New York Jets announced Thursday that they released veteran running back Isaiah Crowell. 

Crowell's release came after the Jets agreed to a four-year, $52.5 million contract with free-agent running back Le'Veon Bell on Wednesday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Crowell spent one season with the Jets after a four-year stint as a member of the Cleveland Browns to begin his career.

Per Spotrac, Crowell had two years remaining on his contract, and releasing him allowed the Jets to save $3 million against the salary cap.

Benjamin Allbright of 104.7 FM in Denver reported that there are already "several" teams interested in Crowell, and he singled out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a team to watch.

The 26-year-old Crowell appeared in 13 games and made six starts for the Jets last season. He was largely productive 685 yards and six touchdowns on the ground to go along with 21 receptions for 152 yards. His yards-per-carry average of 4.8 tied a career high.

Crowell led the Jets in rushing yardage and rushing touchdowns last season, but he split time with Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire, which capped his statistical output.

His overall numbers were bolstered by one huge game in Week 5 against the Denver Broncos when he rushed for 219 yards and one touchdown. With that performance, Crowell broke the Jets' single-game rushing record which was previously held by Thomas Jones with 210 yards.

While Crowell topped 100 rushing yards in two of his first five starts with the Jets, he never had more than 98 rushing yards in a single game after that, and he had less than 50 rushing yards in seven of his final eight games.

Over his first four seasons with the Browns, Crowell was an up-and-down performer. He started on a part-time basis in 2014 and 2015 before taking over as the full-time starter in 2016 and 2017. His best season to date came in 2016 when he finished with a career-high 952 rushing yards to go along with seven rushing scores. He also had a career-high 40 receptions for 319 yards.

Crowell fell out of favor in Cleveland with Duke Johnson often outplaying him, so the Browns decide to move on from him last offseason and select Nick Chubb in the second round of the 2018 draft.

That move paid dividends for the Browns, and parting ways with Crowell is an obvious move for the Jets with Bell set to take over as the bell-cow back. Bell hasn't needed much help from his backups during his career when healthy, but the combination of McGuire and Trenton Cannon should be good enough in 2019.

Crowell isn't likely to be a starter next season, but giving his starting experience and the fact that he is still fairly long, he has a good chance to catch on somewhere as quality backfield depth.