NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Jets have a running game again.
In news first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, New York is expected to re-sign veteran back Bilal Powell on Thursday.
Powell, who the Jets selected in the fourth round of the 2011 draft, will team with veteran Matt Forte, who will reportedly join Gang Green on a three-year, $12 million contract.
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Last season’s starter, Chris Ivory, jumped ship to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Wednesday.
In a related move, the Jets were also reportedly set to sign former New Orleans Saints running back Khiry Robinson.
Terms of the Powell contract were not immediately known, but it is believed that he received offers for up to $4 million per season from other teams.
Powell has been an effective change-of-pace back for the Jets for the last five seasons, rushing for 1,609 yards and 4.0 yards per carry. He also caught 112 passes for another 899 yards.
Powell was especially good last season, averaging 4.5 yards per carry.
Robinson, who played collegiately at West Texas A&M, had a combined 786 yards rushing over his first three seasons, all with the Saints. The former undrafted free agent had 17 receptions for 115 yards last season.
With Forte, Powell and Robinson in the backfield and veteran receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker outside, the Jets, at least at the skill positions, look like they could be better on paper than they were last season, when they finished 10th in the league in total offense on their way to a 10-win season.
The issue now is working out a deal with free agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who set the Jets’ single-season franchise record for touchdown passes with 31 last season. According to numerous reports, the team and quarterback are nowhere near a deal.
The Jets have reportedly offered the 11-year veteran a three-year deal worth around $21 million, while Fitzpatrick’s camp has been looking for considerably more money.