Good Move or Bad Move: Mike Goodson

Running back Mike Goodson

New York Jets general manager John Idzik went after running back Mike Goodson with the first major move of the offseason. While the former Oakland Raider has shown good upside, his recent run-in with the law has called into question his character and credibility.

The Resume:

Goodson was drafted in 2009 by the Carolina Panthers with the No. 111th overall pick. In Carolina, Goodson was used primarily as a kick returner and served as a third-string backup to DeAngelo Williams and Jonathon Stewart. After spending three seasons in Carolina, Goodson headed over to Oakland in 2012. There, he saw limited action in the backfield, while backing up Darren McFadden.

Even though he took the backseat most of his career, Goodson has 160 rushing attempts for 722 yards since 2009, he has nearly 60 receptions for 524 yards. Not only does he perform out of the backfield, he has decent numbers returning kickoffs. In 92 returns, Mike has 2,009 yards with a long of 51 yards in 2012. Despite a small sample, Goodson has averaged 4.5 yards per carry, 8.9 yards per reception, and 22 yards per return. These numbers are fairly good, especially for a player coming off the bench.

The Fit:

When Gang Green signed Goodson, most people didn't understand the move. With household names, such as Rashard Mendenhall, on the market the Jets signed a career back-up player. However, Goodson is a player who can come off the bench, carry the ball five times a game, make a few receptions out of the backfield, and return kicks if needed. The utility man brings depth to a backfield that lacked depth and production this past season. Since Ivory is taking the bulk of the carries, Goodson will be used on third downs and in passing situations. It seems that he will be filling the role that LaDainian Tomlinson left behind. Goodson can be utilized in screens and swing passes out of the backfield, just like L.T. If this is the case, Goodson can be a great asset this year.

The Expectations

Goodson has put up decent numbers the past few years as a back-up, but as a role player, his stats may improve. Since he will be used on third downs and in passing situations, his receptions and receiving numbers will increase significantly more than his rushing stats. Now that he is on the Jets, Goodson can see more playing time than he has in the past when he was backing up Williams, Stewart, and McFadden. Goodson might see some time returning kicks, allowing Kerley and McKnight to rest, which can increase their production as well.

The Verdict

On paper and in theory, Goodson seems to be a great addition. He compliments Ivory perfectly and if healthy, can bring a great upside to the 2013 season. Critics are concerned of his lack of maturity, legal issues, and injury history. His recent troubles in the last couple of months seem to cloud his potential and value to the Jets. Also, Goodson has missed almost 25 games in his four years in the NFL. With 25 games missed due to injury, Goodson has a knack to sit, on average, one game for every three played.

The combination of legal issues and injury do not fare well for the veteran running back, and the Jets should look at other options. With New York having a bad reputation for poor locker room chemistry, it might not be worth keeping Goodson on the team. Cutting Goodson and giving Bilal Powell a chance to catch a few passes out of the backfield and carry the ball a few times a game seems to be a better choice for Gang Green. Powell is younger, durable, and more mature than Goodson.

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