The running back position isn’t at the top of the New York Jets priority list this offseason.
They already have a talented young runner in Michael Carter, but they could still use some more juice in the backfield.
Fortunately, this upcoming free agency class is littered with proven commodities that the team could add to the fold.
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An Ideal Fit for What the Jets Are Looking For
Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report recently listed the ideal landing spots for the top nine running backs set to hit the open market in free agency.
Denver Broncos tailback Melvin Gordon was connected to the Jets as his best landing spot this offseason.
The gist of the argument was the lackluster statistical finish by the Jets rushing attack in 2021 (27th in the league). Plus the uncertainty of the depth at the position.
Gang Green feels good about Carter, but who will be his sidekick is still to be determined.
Gordon has a connection to the Jets offensive coaching staff that could help ease the potential transition. Rob Calabrese, current Gang Green quarterback coach, overlapped with the veteran running back during the 2020 campaign with the Broncos.
The Future of the NFL
The 28-year-old (will be 29 by the start of the 2022 season) still has plenty of gas left in the tank.
After things tailed off at the end of his run with the Los Angeles Chargers a lot of people assumed Gordon was done, but he killed all of that talk based on his career renaissance in Denver.
In those two seasons Gordon has put up ridiculous numbers:
- 1,904 rushing yards
- 20 total touchdowns
- 60 receptions
Gordon is the perfect modern-day running back with his ability to run between the tackles and catch out of the backfield.
Despite his talent and recent production, Spotrac still projects him to have an incredibly reasonable salary heading into free agency.
Gordon is expected to command a contract that pays him $5.2 million annually on a multi-year deal. That figure would rank 16th among the highest-paid running backs in the NFL.
That is a surprisingly affordable number for a player that is a proven producer in the backfield. This would be a perfect pairing with a young Carter in the backfield. Hell, he just was a co-starter with MC1’s former teammate from North Carolina in Javonte Williams.
Now he has a chance to flip sides and play with another young back in a much bigger media market. Gordon obviously wouldn’t be the long-term answer at his age nor would he have to be the lead dog.
The veteran could comfortably slide in as the salt to the pepper and take this Jets rushing attack to the next level. Nothing is a better best friend for a young quarterback than a consistent running game, ask Mark Sanchez.
Gordon could help balance the Jets offense and provide another weapon that opposing defenses have to figure out how to stop.