Saints deal RB Chris Ivory to Jets for fourth-rounder
The Jets were rumored for weeks to be in the mix for Ivory, even after they signed versatile Mike Goodson as a free agent. New York now has Ivory, Goodson, Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight in its backfield.
"He's a very physical, violent runner," general manager John Idzik said of Ivory. "He's got size, he's got speed and runs with attitude and plays with attitude."
New Orleans traded both the pick acquired from New York (No. 106) and its own fourth-rounder (No. 109) for Miami's 82nd overall pick, which the Saints used to draft Georgia defensive tackle John Jenkins.
Ivory was undrafted out of Tiffin in 2010 after transferring there from Washington State, and wound up leading the Saints in rushing as a rookie. He recently signed the Saints' $2 million tender, which would have been a high salary for a player stuck behind Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles on the depth chart. He played in only six games last season, and rushed for 217 yards and two TDs on 40 carries.
"We feel like he's someone who is a very good running back and so we were going to be pretty diligent in regards to what we'd be willing to make a trade with," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "He's been someone that I value and I think the four was something that I think both sides felt pretty fair about."
He has had recurring hamstring problems, but when healthy has looked like one of the most powerful running backs on the team. The 6-foot, 222-pound Ivory will, in effect, replace Shonn Greene, who signed with Tennessee as a free agent, as the Jets' power back.
"It's a great opportunity for him," Payton said. "I know he's excited about it and I'm excited for him."
Ivory has run the ball 256 times for 1,307 career yards and eight touchdowns, averaging 5.1 yards per carry.
"We felt coming into this offseason that there was one position where we had solid depth, more than enough depth if you will, that - how could we possibly use that to help ourselves either defensively or another position need," Payton said. "And, in this case, it ended up being part of how we were able to help ourselves defensively."
AP Sports Writer Brett Martel in Metairie, La., contributed to this report.