A few quick thoughts on the New York Jets decision to sign running back Kahlil Bell and release outside linebacker Aaron Maybin, only because it is a rarity when GM Mike Tannenbaum makes two smart decisions in one day -
1. If given the proper opportunity, Kahlil Bell is going to be a strong addition to this roster. He is an immediate upgrade over Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight. He arguably could even be an upgrade over Shonn Greene. (Go look at Greene’s stats outside of the outlier Colts game this year and then come back to me). Why am I so excited about Bell? Predominantly from his body of work over the final five games last season when he saw extensive playing time for the Chicago Bears. Here are his game logs from those weeks -
Vs. Kansas City – 4 carries, 34 yards
At Denver – 9 carries, 40 yards, 5 receptions, 24 yards
Vs. Seattle – 15 carries, 65 yards, 5 receptions, 43 yards
At Green Bay – 23 carries, 121 yards, 4 receptions, 38 yards
At Minnesota – 17 carries, 54 yards, 5 receptions, 28 yards
I actually saw the Denver, Seattle and Green Bay game in their entirety and was thoroughly impressed with Bell. He was one of the backs I was hoping the team would bring in this past August after the Bears let him go. Unfortunately Mike Tannenbaum decided to wait until week 11. Bell is an excellent receiver out of the backfield, has good quickness and is much more explosive than Greene. I am not exaggerating when I am saying that he should be immediately receiving 7-10 carries starting this week and then work towards a playing time split with Greene. In the long term, he could be this team’s number two back when they find a legitimate number one back.
2. Credit Mike Tannenbaum for not waiting until the end of the year for cutting his losses with Aaron Maybin who was an enormous disappointment this season. Many (including myself) believed that with a full year in Rex Ryan’s defense, he would develop another pass rush move and remain a big weapon on defense. In eight games, he didn’t record a single sack and only came up with one tackle. Simply put, Maybin is a one trick pony who failed to develop any other skills. There was no point of keeping him around if he couldn’t get to the quarterback. It is smarter to give reps over the final seven games to Marcus Dowtin and Ricky Sapp to see what they can do.
However, the Jets media relations/community outreach had another disastrous handling of a situation today. They actually sent Maybin to a charity event for the team and then called him while he was there to inform him he was cut. Not a classy move at all. They did something similar with John Conner a few weeks back. Who is making the decisions in these departments?