Noah Weintraub

Jets Need Joe McKnight

Created on Jul. 04, 2013 2:25 AM EST

The New York Jets off-season acquisitions of two running backs make Joe McKnight a candidate to fall short of making the team. This would be a big mistake for the Jets.

The Jets selected McKnight in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. Since then, McKnight has been productive for the team.

McKnight is a running back, but he can also be a kick and punt returner. As a running back, McKnight is able to have an impact on the offense.

With limited carries last season, McKnight was able to average six yards per carry. This included one carry he ran for 61 yards.

McKnight has also been able to have a huge impact on the special teams. In his short career, he has already had two kickoff returns of at least 100 yards.

In McKnight’s young career, his punt return average is 9.9 yards and kick return average is 29. His kick return average has him ranked third all-time.

The accomplished kick and punt returner Devin Hester has showed the league how much of an impact a punt and kick returner can have on a game. Hester, who has been playing for the Chicago Bears since 2006, holds the record for special team returning touchdowns with 17.

McKnight’s days on the Jets appears numbered as the team traded for running back Chris Ivory in the off-season. The Jets also signed Mike Goodson.

The Jets now have four running backs; Ivory, Goodson, Bilal Powell and McKnight. Most likely, the team will carry only three running backs on the roster after the team’s roster cuts on Aug. 31.

McKnight should remain on the Jets because of how valuable running back depth is to a team.

Each year, teams suffer when their number one running back sustains an injury. McKnight is more valuable than the average running back because he is a good kick returner.

The Jets currently have four quarterbacks on their roster. The only way a team would need four quarterbacks is their quarterbacks sustain an injury or the quarterbacks are terrible.

The Jets would be better off keeping a running back that has a better chance of making an impact than a quarterback who will ride the bench.

Ivory and Goodson have both proven to be injury risks for their respective teams; New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders.

Ivory has only played 24 games in his three-year career. With that kind of injury history, there is a great chance that he will sustain an injury at some point this season.

Goodson has only played 40 games in his four-year career. This includes playing a combined 12 games in 2009 and 2011.

He has a history of being in trouble with the law.

Three different women sued Goodson between April 2010 and May 2011 for paternity and child support, according to the Sporting News. His legal troubles have come back to haunt him recently.

Last month, Goodson and his co-defendant faced handgun and marijuana charges. The co-defendants are trying to negotiate a plea bargain.

If this does not work, then a Morris County Grand jury would hear the cases. Goodson could face five to 10 years in prison if the grand jury finds him guilty of the handgun charges.

With these problems facing two of the team’s running backs, it would be wise to keep McKnight on the roster. The worst thing that could happen to the Jets is if another team signs him and he becomes the next Devin Hester.

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