7:11pm: Powell’s new contract with the Jets is a three-year pact worth $11.25MM, with $6MM in fully guaranteed money, tweets Tom Pelissero of USA Today.
11:28am: The Jets lost one key running back to free agency, but they refused to lose another. Gang Green and Bilal Powell have reached agreement on a new deal, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
Powell will now join free agent acquisition Matt Forte in what is shaping up to be a formidable backfield. Chris Ivory, of course, has moved on to the Jaguars, but Forte and Powell should give the Jets two different running styles to throw at opposing defenses. The Jets still have one more free agent tailback to address in Stevan Ridley, though he is considered to be less pivotal to the Jets’ offense than Powell.
Powell averaged a career-high 4.5 yards per carry on 70 attempts last season and added a personal-best 47 receptions. Jets head coach Todd Bowles has been a vocal supporter of the running back and is undoubtedly happy to have him back in the fold.
“He’s been more of a complete back than even I thought he was coming in. He can block. He can run. He’s not just a pass catcher. He does a bunch of things for us,” Bowles said in January.
The 27-year-old has spent all five of his career NFL seasons with the Jets. In terms of overall yards and usage, his best season came in 2013 when he carried the ball 176 times for 697 yards and one touchdown. Last season, Powell had 70 rushing attempts for 313 yards, giving him a 4.5 yards-per-attempt average.
The Cowboys, Patriots, Ravens, and Broncos also showed varying degrees of interest in Powell this week.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.