Could Chris Ivory be the next lead back for the Jets?
While a lot of us would like to see Ivory on a team that would give him a heavier workload, his second-round tender would require any interested team to give up their second-round pick to sign him to an offer sheet.
That second-round tender, however, has not deterred one team from exploring the acquisition of Ivory. The New York Jets met with the 25-year-old power back last Friday, exactly one week before the deadline to sign restricted free agents to offer sheets (April 19). However, an offer sheet is not how the Jets would like to acquire Ivory.
The Jets' second-round pick is 39th overall - that would be a very high price to pay for Ivory, and the Jets are not expected to do it. What the Jets would like to do is trade a draft pick (later than the second-round) to snag Ivory from New Orleans.
The Saints are interested in completing a trade that will get them something in return for Ivory, as they know that Ivory will be an unrestricted free agent in 2014. They would likely lose him for nothing if he hit the open market. The price that the Saints have reportedly put on their fourth-string back is at least a fourth-round pick - not a bad price for the Jets to lock up a lead runner.
The main issue for the Jets is that they have a lack of talent on their roster and not many draft picks to improve it. Acquiring a draft pick in a potential Darrelle Revis trade could make the Jets more likely to part with a pick to obtain Ivory.
If the Saints have their eyes set on the Jets' second round pick, they could possibly propose a "trade up" scenario, in which the Saints could send Ivory and a third-round pick to the Jets in return for the 39th overall pick.
Ivory would seemingly be a great fit on a Jets team run by head coach Rex Ryan, who advocates a hard-nosed mentality and a ground-and-pound offensive style. The biggest concern with Ivory is his injury history, which generally has to with his lower body, particularly his hamstrings.
The bottom line is that if the Saints don't move Ivory this offseason, there is a strong chance that they will lose him next year for nothing. Considering their history of underutilizing the young runner, they may feel the best move is to get compensation for Ivory while they can. If the Jets are willing to part with a fourth-round pick, they may be able to get a good deal on a talented, albeit injury-prone running back.