The New York Jets announced that they have signed running back Thomas Rawls on Friday afternoon.
Rawls will be entering his fourth season in the NFL, spending the previous three with the Seattle Seahawks where he totaled 1,336 yards and seven touchdowns.
He looked as though he would develop into the next great running back in the NFL after an electrifying rookie campaign in 2013 in which he rushed for 830 yards and four touchdowns in just 13 games. His 5.6 yards per carry were tops in the NFL.
However, injury troubles have suppressed his development, rushing for 349 yards in 2016 and just 157 yards in 2017. Last year saw Rawls average a measly 2.7 yards per carry.
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While the figures of his deal with New York are unknown, it looks as though the Jets are stockpiling talent for the backfield to create as much competition as possible. Already holding a promising duo of Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire, the Jets acquired Isaiah Crowell at the start of free agency. The former Cleveland Browns back rushed for at least 850 yards and a combined nine touchdowns over the past two years.
McGuire, Rawls and Crowell are all under 25 years old, providing more youthful options compared to the 29-year-old Powell, who rushed for a career-high 772 yards last year.
This is just another example of how the Jets are starting to change the culture of their organization, bringing on young, still promising talents that could develop into valuable contributors. Rawls is just the latest signing of a free-agency period that has seen New York already bring in quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, cornerback Trumaine Johnson and wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, among others.