The Jaguars gave Chris Ivory bell-cow money, but aren’t expecting him to be a bell-cow running back.
In fact, Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell said that Ivory would “probably split carries” with second-year back T.J. Yeldon after signing a five-year, $32 million contract.
“It wasn’t a pressing need for us, because we feel like we have a young back,” Caldwell said, via Hays Carlyon of the Florida Times-Union. “But, in this league, you need two guys. Chris is a guy that averages 4.6 yards per carry over the course of his career. He’s a violent, aggressive, downhill runner, who is excellent in short yardage situations and really a three-down back.”
Of course, the Jaguars were 27th in the league in rushing last year, so adding to the ground game is a reasonable position. But that’s still a lot of money for a committee member, albeit a possibly excellent committee.
“I think it does allow durability throughout the season,” Ivory said. “It allows guys to come in fresh, so I think it’s a good situation. Not only that, I think it extends your career.”
Both Ivory and Yeldon gained over 1,000 yards from scrimmage last year, and the Jaguars have plenty of young weapons in the passing game. So if the result is a playoff berth after years of building, it will be justified. Otherwise, Caldwell just spent a big chunk of the money he had to spend on what amounts to a part-time player.