The Jacksonville Jaguars were widely criticized for giving Chris Ivory a big contract this offseason, and so far the critics are justified.
The Jacksonville Jaguars made some big splashes this offseason, starting with a handful of marquee free agent signings. Landing Malik Jackson on a massive deal was the most significant addition, but some folks focused instead on the somewhat surprising signing of Chris Ivory.
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The former Jets bellcow back was coming off a 1,000 yard season, but one in which he faltered down the stretch. The logic in his signing seemingly was rooted in splitting carries with T.J. Yeldon so both backs could stay fresh. It has not worked out that way at all.
Ivory missed the first few weeks with an undisclosed injury, and he’s only recently started to look like the bruising runner that some compared to a poor man’s Marshawn Lynch. Even with his slight improvement, Ivory hasn’t garnered enough carries to be worth his price tag.
Chris Wesseling over at NFL.com took notice, listing Chris Ivory as his 5th biggest free agent flop so far in the 2016 regular season.
"5) Chris Ivory, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: Blake Bortles‘ shocking regression has overshadowed Jacksonville’s disappointing, 26th-ranked backfield. Signed away from the Jets, Ivory was handed north of $6 million per year to complement T.J. Yeldon as a red-zone weapon and between-the-tackles battering ram.After missing the first two games with an emergency medical condition, Ivory hasn’t been the same ferocious, tackle-breaking machine we’re used to seeing early in the season. He’s found paydirt only once this year while averaging just 38 yards per game. Like the rest of Jacksonville’s ballyhooed free-agent class, Ivory hasn’t played up to his contract."
To be fair to Ivory, he actually has at times looked like the ferocious, tackle-breaking machine many expected him to be. The disappointment in his play so far lies in two corners – he’s missed some time due to injury, and the Jaguars just haven’t given him the ball enough. If he is factored into the gameplan more over the last 7 games, he may redeem his signing somewhat.