In a move to upgraded the team's running back depth and add a running mate for workhorse LeSean McCoy, the Buffalo Bills agreed to a two-year contract with free agent Chris Ivory on Tuesday morning. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport first reported the deal, which includes $3.25 million in guaranteed money.
Ivory, who signed a five-year, $32 million contract with the Jaguars two offseason ago, lands in Buffalo with the hopes of rebuilding some momentum in his career. After he rushed for a career-high 1,070 yards and seven touchdowns in 2015 to earn a Pro Bowl nod, Ivory headed to Jacksonville hoping to be the team's featured back. Instead, he flamed out in two seasons with the Jaguars and finish with just 821 rushing yards on 229 carries in two seasons.
Now the 29-year-old will hope to find himself in a similar role to what Mike Gillislee experienced in 2016. In the '16 season, Gillislee rushed for 577 yards and found the end zone eight times, helping provide a perfect change-of-pace to McCoy for the Bills' offense. After Gillislee left last offseason, Buffalo relied on 32-year-old fullback Mike Tolbert to be their insurance behind McCoy. Tolbert finish third in carries, behind quarterback Tyrod Taylor, but only found the end zone once on 66 rush attempts.
While Ivory will not be a fantasy pick in 2018 drafts, his presence could lead to a slightly lighter workload for McCoy. Ivory should see 100-120 carries next season and help spell McCoy to keep the veteran running back more fresh throughout the season. For fantasy owners in keeper leagues with McCoy and those who could draft him come draft time, Ivory's arrival should be viewed as good news for McCoy's potential health and sustainability in the 2018 season.