Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Takeaways on Jets signing Jacoby Ford
By Rich Cimini
A few takeaways on former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Jacoby Ford signing with the New York Jets:
1. Typical: This is an Idzik-ian move all the way. One of the NFL's top receivers is on the open market -- DeSean Jackson -- but general manager John Idzik avoids the big splash and takes a short-term flier on the fast, but injury-prone Ford. This won't increase Idzik's popularity among frustrated fans, but it's the kind of low-risk move that he likes. Jackson is too costly and has too much baggage.
2. Depth chart: Ford (57 career catches) won't start -- heck, he's not even a lock to make the team -- but he has one thing going for him: Speed. He ran a 4.28 in the 40 coming out of Clemson in 2010, and the current receiving corps lacked a true burner. The big question with Ford is his durability. He's made out of glass, having missed 26 games over the past three years. Considering the Jets' injuries at receiver in recent years, Ford doesn't exactly fit the profile of what they need at the position.
3. Special-teams impact: Ford, who has scored four times on kickoff returns in his career, becomes one of the leading candidates to replace Josh Cribbs. The Jets' return game lacked sizzle, and Ford can change that -- if healthy. It should be noted, though, that the value of kickoff returners has decreased because of the rule changes.