Most of the Jaguars free agent spending was supposed to be on defense, as the unit finished 31st out of 32 teams in scoring defense, allowing 28 points per game.
With Malik Jackson already in hand, Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell addressed the other side of the football with former New York Jets running back Chris Ivory.
Ivory is one of the hardest running backs in the NFL to tackle as he led the AFC in rushing in 2015 with 1,070 yards while averaging 4.3 yards per carry with seven touchdowns.
The Jaguars struggled mightily in short yardage last year as they wasted carries with Toby Gerhart. The team had just five rushing touchdowns, two of them were from quarterback Blake Bortles. Now, everyone will know where the ball is going in short yardage.
Although Ivory will turn 28 years old in two weeks, he doesn't have the normal mileage of a seven-year NFL veteran back. He has always been part of a running back rotation and 2015 was his busiest season as he carried the ball 247 times (16.6 carries per game). He will be the "thunder" in the "thunder and lightning" combination with second-year running back T.J. Yeldon, who showed explosiveness as a rookie.
One of the most exciting offenses in the NFL just became that much better, and even though the team still has question marks on the offensive line, a signing like Ivory will make a big difference, as well as allow quarterback Blake Bortles to throw the football less.
Speaking of Gerhart, the team is expected to release him tomorrow, according to an NFL Media report.
The same man who signed Ivory in New York, John Idzik, negotiated his deal in Jacksonville.null