Considering NFL players earn a lot more money than the average person, buying them Christmas presents probably isn’t an easy thing to do.
After signing a three-year deal worth $6 million in April, Chris Ivory most likely has already purchased himself a few toys in advance of the holiday season.
One thing that money cannot buy though is national acclaim.
Ivory has rushed for the seventh-most yards per attempt in the league, putting him just slightly ahead of Adrian Peterson – who is thought to be the best running back in football.
Yet there’s a pretty good chance the casual fan in Minnesota isn’t too familiar with Ivory.
Additional carries are another thoughtful gift, as there are 26 players who run the ball more times per game than Ivory.
Teammate Bilal Powell has taken away touches from Ivory, although his numbers are quite respectable as well.
If the Jets were to reward the both of them with as little as another two attempts each per game, the team might be looking at nearly another 20 yards of offense. That may not sound like a lot but when you’re as starved for points as the Jets are, every little bit helps.
Time machines are probably even out of the price range of many professional athletes – and technically, they don’t exist – but one would make a great gift for rookie Geno Smith.
Taking Smith back to August 24, we’d make sure Mark Sanchez wasn’t playing in the fourth quarter of a meaningless preseason game to avoid his season-ending shoulder injury.
Hindsight is 20/20 and the idea isn’t to blame anyone, but Sanchez was in all likelihood going to be the team’s starting quarterback if that never happened.
Giving Smith the opportunity to sit on the bench and learn by observing the speed and nuances of the professional game rather than being thrown directly into the action could have completely altered the way he sees things.
That’s not to say Smith would automatically be a better quarterback today if he had the chance to watch from the sidelines for much of the season, but it certainly couldn’t have hurt.
There are a few things that could be purchased for the Jets, however they can’t be giftwrapped and placed under the Christmas tree.
Playing the role of Santa Claus, general manager John Idzik must make sure when he’s making his offseason list that he checks it twice and finds out who is naughty and nice on the free agent market.
The Jets are quite talented as a blue-collar team yet they desperately need playmakers at wide receiver and in the defensive secondary.
Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie were supposed to fill those roles but they move around these days like they are weighed down by eggnog.
Thinking of a gift for head coach Rex Ryan isn’t easy.
He definitely has enough black sweater vests, so those are out of the question.
Something Ryan has never had during his tenure with the Jets is a high-powered offense to work with. Whether he’ll be coaching this team or another next season is unknown. Wherever he is, the offense has held him back here thus far and it’d be interesting to see what level of success he’s able to achieve with a roster that’s able to light up the scoreboard every now and then.
As for Jets fans, their gift may arrive a little late this year.
While defeating the Dolphins this coming Sunday and potentially knocking them out of the playoffs isn’t as exciting as making the postseason, it’s not a bad consolation prize.