Jets running back Chris Ivory said he would like to return to New York, but knows the team's tight cap space will make things difficult, he said at the Pro Bowl.
"I was able to speak with them," said Ivory, who made it to the Pro Bowl for the first time this year. "They want to bring me back but like I said, I think it's about the cap space. That's going to be the biggest factor as to whether I'm back or not."
The 27-year-old running back ran for 1,070 yards, recorded 217 receiving yards and totaled eight total touchdowns. He earned $2.75 million last season.
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Maybe I'm being cynical, but this makes it sound like the Jets are preparing Ivory for the fact that they're going to give him a lowball offer. Hiding behind their cap situation is an effective way of insulating themselves from accusations that they're disrespecting a loyal servant, but it most likely boils down to the fact that there's a discrepancy between what Ivory thinks he's worth and what the Jets would be prepared to pay him.
Ultimately, if the Jets felt he was worth his asking price, they could find a way to retain him. Equally, even if they had plenty of cap flexibility -- and with the cap rising at a rate of about $10 million per season at the moment, they arguably do -- the Jets likely wouldn't pay much more than their own valuation anyway.
Ivory had some great moments in his three years with the Jets and improved immeasurably as a pass catcher. This provided the Jets with a great return on their investment, both in terms of his salary and the pick they gave up to acquire him. However, he still had issues with consistency and durability, which would be of particular concern given that he'll be into his 30s toward the tail end of his next contract.