New York Jets: Stevan Ridley Signing Potential “Boom or Bust” Scenario


Fewer teams have consistently signed more mediocre running backs than the New York Jets.  The team dominated the middle of the NFL running back rankings with the likes of Shonn Greene and Chris Johnson, and now Stevan Ridley has joined this elite club of mid-tier rushers.  Or has he?

Last week the Jets signed Ridley to a one-year deal and the former LSU star wasted no time to celebrate.  His first order of business?  Get a huge “Jets” tattoo on his forearm.

Just one question, Stevan:  Really?  While we appreciate your enthusiasm, this tattoo stunt is hauntingly similar to getting your significant other’s name tattooed on your arm after the first date!

All jokes aside, it will be interesting to see how Ridley fits in the Jets offensive scheme.  While he has established himself as somewhat of a fumbler, he has also proven to be quite effective.  In sum, when he’s been off, he’s been awful; when he’s been on, he’s been great.

Meet Steve “The Fumbler” Ridley.  He can’t hold on to a football to save his life.

Now meet Steve “The Beast” Ridley.  This guy is unstoppable.

If Ridley can come back to form from his injury, he could turn out to be a nice signing for the Jets.  In fairness, he is only two full seasons removed from his 1,263 rushing yards, 12 TD campaign.  According to ESPN, prior to his injury last season, he had a modest 340 rushing yards, 2 TDs, and 0 fumbles in 6 games.  At that rate, had he stayed healthy, he was on pace for around 800+ yards and 5+ TD.

Insert Ridley into an improved offense, including Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, and tight end hopeful, Jace Amaro, things could get interesting for the Jets.

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Even more intriguing is the team’s quarterback situation.  Never mind a controversy between Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick.  Gang Green has been all over the media lately, entrenched in rumors that the team could draft Marcus Mariota, or trade up to draft Jameis Winston.  Either of those acquisitions only serve to bolster the team’s offense and Ridley’s potential.

In years past, Greene and Johnson failed to break into the elite category as Jets.  However, they were inserted into such mediocre offensive schemes, that their ability to contribute was completely stifled by front office and coaching woes.  Here is a great Rex Ryan training camp speech in 2010, when the team won the AFC Wild Card Playoffs against the Colts.  Godspeed, Rex.  You tried.

This year feels different.  With the team’s recent signings, the buzz around the quarterback situation, and the upcoming draft, they seem to be moving in the right direction.

If the Jets can upgrade their offensive line during the offseason and prime Amaro to reach his potential as a blocking threat, Ridley, a bruiser when he’s effective and healthy, could make an impact.  If all that happens, perhaps signing the former LSU stud will change the continuum of running backs whose careers go to New York to die.

Next: Who is the best first-round pick in Jets history?

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