New York Jets: A friendly plan B option at running back

Bilal Powell #29 of the New York Jets (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Bilal Powell #29 of the New York Jets (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

The New York Jets are set to make a huge run at Le’Veon  Bell in free agency. If he doesn’t sign here, what about a familiar option as plan B?

The New York Jets will be shooting for a big fish when free agency opens. You know who that is. He’s a game-changing running back who sat out all of 2018. Of course we are talking about Le’Veon Bell.

The Jets have the money to get it done, and his talent cannot be questioned. Multiple teams will be bidding for Bell’s services and the New York will be one of them. Whether the Jets write a blank check or make an offer within reason, they will do something.

Sam Darnold‘s experience at quarterback will change drastically for the better if Bell is in the fold. But, what if he isn’t? What if Bell decides to go elsewhere? What do the Jets do next?

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We have heard a lot about both Tevin Coleman and Mark Ingram. Both would be more than worthy choices as plan B. They are talented and much less expensive.

But, what about a more familiar alternative? I know a guy that has always been loved by the Jets fan base. His name is Bilal Powell.

Is it really the worst idea? Let’s think about this for a minute.

For their careers, Coleman has averaged 4.4 yards per carry and Ingram has averaged 4.5. Powell comes in at 4.4 yards per carry.

Obviously not a big difference there.

Ingram outduels Powell in the yardage department by a total of 6,007 to 3,446 yards. It’s not a fair comparison because Ingram has had multiple years of 200+ carries while Powell has had none.

Ingram and Powell both joined the league in 2011 so we will compare the two of them in terms of receiving.

Since entering the league, Ingram has caught 228 passes for 1,598 yards and five touchdowns. Powell has caught 204 passes for 1,567 passes and five touchdowns.

What is the moral of the story? That Powell, statistically, compares very favorably to both Ingram and Coleman.

Let’s not forget that last year, behind a very poor offensive line, Powell ran the ball 20 times versus the Broncos for 99 yards. Doing that against a defense that sports Von Miller as one of its members is an accomplishment.

When Powell has carried the ball more than 20 times in a game, he has never gained less than 75 yards. Despite the fact he is never the week to week “bell cow”, when he has been one he has produced.

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The question is how Powell recovers from last season’s injury. Remember he went on injured reserve after hurting his neck against the Vikings. It was initially thought to be career threatening but that was a false alarm.

A full recovery is expected. If Powell isn’t ready to come back, this whole discussion is meaningless and the Jets have to go elsewhere.

But if he is ready and Bell doesn’t work out, why not revisit Powell? We know he can play and also is a dual threat out of the backfield. There have been worse ideas.