The Jets quickly answered the vacancy at running back left by Chris Ivory by signing veteran Matt Forte to a three year contract worth over $12 million, and then quickly re-signed Bilal Powell to contract extension solidifying the Jets back-field.
These are two very solid moves by the Jets. In Forte, the Jets get a running back who has been an every-down back throughout his career in the NFL. Forte has rushed for 1,000 or more five times in his career, and has been selected to two Pro Bowls. He averages 4.2 yards per carry, and has a knack for being a valuable pass catcher out of the back field.
Forte is a good inside outside runner, and when he gets into the open field is tough to bring down. He has also proven durable throughout his career in Chicago.
As for Powell, his signing was a must. When healthy last year, Powell was the Jets best option on screen passes out of the backfield. He ended up third on the team in targets (64) and receptions (47), and yards (388). Powell also ran for 313 yards last season. His addition to the backfield along with Forte gives the Jets two tremendous speed talents who can catch the ball out of the backfield.
The one issue with Forte is his age. At age 30, one has to worry about him hitting the proverbial running back wall. The Jets are on the hook for two of the three years of Forte's contract, but I think Jets fans should look at this deal much the same way they did Thomas Jones in 2008. Jones came to the Jets after a successful stint with the Bears and produced nicely for the Jets for a couple seasons. The Jets are in a win now mentality, and Forte and Powell are win now players. Good move.