New York Jets starting running back Shonn Greene is an unrestricted free agent, and it is being reported that the Jets might be willing to part ways this offseason. The Jets' third-round draft pick in 2009 has spent four up-and-down years with the Jets: two as the clear starter, one as the de facto starter and one as a heavily-used backup.
According to Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com, there are other teams that simply want him more:
There has been some buzz here on the future of running back Shonn Greene, an unrestricted free agent. Spies say Greene, coming off an underwhelming thousand-yard season, is expected to draw interest from the Falcons and Broncos. The Falcons reportedly will release Michael Turner ($6.9 million salary), and they will need a thumper like Greene to pair with the speedy Jacquizz Rodgers. The Broncos don't have a clear-cut No. 1 back. The Jets, looking for a speed back to pair with Bilal Powell, are prepared to part ways with Greene.
I could imagine [the Broncos or Falcons] paying [Shonn Greene] around $3-4 million per year if you average the overall deal (2-3 years)... Greene’s generally a liability in the passing game and that’s going to be so much more a factor of what a running back needs to do in a [new offensive coordinator Marty] Morhinweg offense. Greene would probably do quite well on a team like the Falcons which [possesses] a good line, an upper-tier quarterback and a change of pace back to play off... [Backup running back] Bilal Powell proved at the end of 2012 that he can project to replace Greene’s production, and he’s better in the passing game.
With two solid backups on the roster in Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight, the Jets cannot afford to pay big money for Greene, who is only an average starting back. In this case, it seems that both Greene and the Jets may be satisfied to simply head in different directions.
Powell garnered 4.0 yards per carry in 2012 and was a more effective goal-line back than Greene. McKnight, who also serves as the Jets' primary kick returner, put up 6.0 yards per carry for the season while struggling with injuries.
Greene, the team's workhorse in 2012, put up only 3.9 yards per carry. With McKnight being easily the fastest of the bunch, and with Powell becoming more reliable in short-yardage situations, there is not a clear need for Greene on the team. Instead, he can be replaced with a running-back-by-committee offense. It is seeming increasingly likely that this is the approach the Jets will take in 2013.
If that is true, we may have seen the last of Shonn Greene in a Jets' uniform.
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