A few days after losing Chris Ivory to a big-money deal in Jacksonville, the Jets revamped their running back corps Thursday. After agreeing to terms with former Bear Matt Forte, they agreed in principle to re-sign Bilal Powell and add former Saint Khiry Robinson, sources confirmed to Newsday.
Powell reportedly agreed to a three-year deal worth $11.25 million with $6 million guaranteed. Robinson reportedly agreed to a one-year, $1.175-million contract. Forte reportedly agreed to a three-year, $12-million contract that includes a guaranteed $8 million.
The loss of Ivory, the 2015 AFC rushing champion, quickly was offset by the arrival of Forte, 30, and a retooled running back committee.
The Jets were able to retain Powell, 27, who has emerged as a potent weapon in Chan Gailey’s offense. Powell, who also is good at blocking blitzers, rushed 70 times for 313 yards and a touchdown and caught 47 passes for 388 yards and two scores.
In five seasons with the Jets, Powell has 1,609 yards and seven touchdowns on 402 carries. He impressed coach Todd Bowles with his production during the five-game winning streak from Weeks 12-16, producing 162 yards and a TD on 28 carries and catching 27 passes for 232 yards and two scores in that span. Powell, however, missed the season finale at Buffalo, a loss that kept the Jets out of the playoffs.
Robinson, a restricted free agent, was not given a qualifying offer by New Orleans. He played 28 games in three seasons with the Saints, rushing 186 times for 766 yards and catching 25 passes for 178 yards. An undrafted free agent in 2013, he fractured his tibia last November and finished the season on injured reserve.