New York Jets Rumors: Is C.J. Spiller A Free Agent Target?


New York Jets Rumors: Could Chan Gailey and C.J. Spiller Reunite With Gang Green?

While the NFL season is nearing an end with the Super Bowl to be played in less than two weeks, most NFL teams are beginning their preparations for next season. One of those teams are the New York Jets, who will have a new air around them with a new head coach in Todd Bowles running the show, and a new general manager in Mike Maccagnan overseeing the operation.

Maccagnan has already said that the Jets will be very active in free agency this offseason, which is a welcome change from when John Idzik was running the show. With that new approach, there will more than likely be some new faces in town for the 2015 season. One of those new faces could be a familiar one for the Jets in Buffalo Bills’ running back C.J. Spiller.

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Spiller is set to become a free agent after five seasons with up-and-down season with the Bills. Spiller especially struggles in 2014, having arguably his worst season as a pro. Why would the Jets entertain even signing a player like Spiller who battled injuries and ineffectiveness this past season? New offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, that’s why.

Gailey was the head coach for the Bills for three seasons from 2010-2012. After being fired, he retired and the Jets brought him out of retirement to be their offensive coordinator under Bowles. His connection to Spiller could lead the former Clemson product to Gang Green because under Gailey’s watch Spiller had his most successful season as a pro.

In 2012, Gailey’s last season with the Bills, Spiller was a force out of the backfield, 1,703 combined yards and eight touchdowns, averaging 6.0 yard per rush and 10.7 yards per reception. He was finally showing the explosiveness that made him such an attractive prospect for the Bills in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Unfortunately for Spiller, Gailey was relieved of his duties following that season, and he was never able to build on that strong campaign. Doug Marrone was hired to replace Gailey in 2012, and Spiller never experienced the same success. In the first season under Marrone, Spiller’s stats slipped to 1,118 combined yards, with a still strong 4.6 yard per carry, but an underwhelming 5.6 yards per reception. He managed to find the end zone only twice as well.

Things hit rock bottom for Spiller this past season, as he missed seven weeks with a broken collarbone, and was ineffective when he was on the field. He managed only 425 combined yards, managing only one combined touchdown and a career-low tying 3.8 yards per carry.

Reuniting with Gailey with the Jets could be just what Spiller needs to get his career back on track. He experienced the most success in his career under Gailey, and the two getting back together could be another success. Roster wise, it could be a fit as well Spiller and the Jets.

Currently the Jets have Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson on the roster for 2015, as Bilal Powell is set to become a restricted free agent. With a new regime in place, it would not be a surprise to see the Jets move on from Powell. Johnson has some problems of his own currently, as he was arrested about two weeks ago on gun charges, leaving his future with the Jets up in the air.

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With Ivory currently looking like the only certain thing next season for the Jets backfield, it would be smart to try and add some talent back there. Spiller would be a great compliment to Ivory, as he is more of a threat out of the backfield as a pass catcher, but struggles running between the tackles, where Ivory succeeds. Anyone who has watched the Jets play against the Bills in recent seasons has seen Spiller being misused by Marrone and his staff, constantly running him into the tackles instead of getting him into space.

There is no question that Gailey knows how to get the most out of Spiller’s skill set, as Spiller put up career numbers their last season together. With a team in transition, and in need of a talent infusion to bolster the 22nd ranked offense in the NFL, Spiller should be a player to target. He will not break the bank and should fit into the Jets’ payroll plans. Also, the versatility and skill-set that he would bring to the offense is something that would help whichever quarterback ends up under center for the Jets next season.

Next: Who Will Be the Jets' QB in 2015?