- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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Quick thoughts on the Jets signing former Raiders RB Mike Goodson:
1. KEY ROLE: Based on the size of his contract (three years, $6.9 million), the Jets see Goodson as more than a spare part, which is what he was with the Panthers and Raiders. Let's face it, the Jets still don't have a true No. 1 back, so Goodson will compete for significant playing time. Now that Shonn Greene is gone, he'll probably split the lead role with Bilal Powell. Remember what new GM John Idzik preaches: Competition, competition, competition.
2. FINALLY, A SPEED BACK: Goodson, a former track athlete at Texas A&M, brings much-needed speed to the backfield. He was a 4.47 guy coming out of A&M in 2009. He flashed that speed on a 64-yard screen pass last season against the Dolphins, making the catch in the right flat and burning rubber up the right sideline for a touchdown. His career yards-per-carry is an impressive 4.5, albeit only 160 attempts. The Jets need that big-play dimension in the worst way. They had only one run longer than 36 yards last season. The player who delivered it -- Joe McKnight, 61 yards -- has Goodson-type speed, but he's an enigma because of his inconsistency. If I'm McKnight, I'm worried. Goodson can return kickoffs; he did a nice job for the Panthers in 2010.
3. HE CAN CATCH: The Jets are installing a West Coast system and they wanted to add a back that can catch the football. Goodson can do that. He has 59 career receptions, including 40 in 2010. He played only 170 snaps last season for the Raiders, primarily in a third-down role. Powell was the third-down back last season. Well, at least they have good depth in that role.
4. THE NEGATIVES: Goodson is the anti-Greene. He relies too much on his speed, popping runs out to the perimeter. He also has had a fumbling problem -- seven career fumbles in 219 career "touches." There's some question about his toughness between the tackles and there have been durability issues in his career. At A&M, he landed in the coach's doghouse because of character concerns. You always have to wonder why a player with this much raw talent rides the bench and gets traded. Goodson showed promise in 2010, rushing for 452 yards when DeAngelo Williams got hurt, yet he still got shipped out to Oakland.
5. SCOUTING REPORT: Spoke to an AFC scout about the Jets' signing of Goodson, and he felt they overpaid. His take: "He's a backup that can work in a contributing role. He has some size and speed, he can catch the ball out of the backfield, but he's an average blocker. His third-down value is as a pass catcher, not blocking or blitz pick-up. He's an average inside, between-the-tackles runner. He's not a power type, but he has some burst. His outside ability is better than his inside talent."