Jets reach deal with C.J. Spiller, will cut Knile Davis after hourslong stint

ByRich Cimini ESPN logo
Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Jets played a game of running back roulette Tuesday, claiming Knile Davis on waivers and later deciding to release him after agreeing to terms with free agent C.J. Spiller.

The Jets will officially put Davis on waivers at 4 p.m. Wednesday, according to a source. At that time, they will sign Spiller, who will join Matt Forte and Bilal Powell in the backfield.

It has been a whirlwind two weeks for Davis, who was traded Oct. 18 by the Kansas City Chiefs to the Green Bay Packers. He played in two games, carrying the ball only five times for 5 yards before he was sent packing by the Packers on Monday.

The Jets already were in negotiations with Spiller, but they hadn't received a commitment when Davis became available on waivers, a source said. A few hours after acquiring Davis on waivers, the Jets agreed to terms with Spiller, prompting the decision to release Davis.

Spiller, too, has been on the go.

He was released by the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 13, a little more than a year into a four-year, $18 million contract. The Jets actually brought him in for a workout, but he signed with the Seattle Seahawks and promptly scored a touchdown against the Jets in their Week 4 matchup.

Spiller lasted only a month with the Seahawks, rushing three times for 9 yards and catching five passes. He will be reunited with his former Buffalo Bills coach, Chan Gailey, the Jets' offensive coordinator.

Spiller's best season came under Gailey in 2012, when he rushed for 1,244 yards and averaged 6.0 yards per carry. The Jets considered Spiller as a free agent in March 2015, but they decided to re-sign Powell, a free agent at the time.

The Jets could use Spiller as a kickoff returner. They're fourth in the NFL in kickoff-return average, but the production has lagged in recent weeks with rookie Jalin Marshall.

Forte (chronic knee) and Powell (turf toe) also have been dealing with injuries, so Spiller provides depth in the backfield.

To make room for Davis, the Jets waived rookie running back Troymaine Pope.

NFL Network first reported news of the Spiller signing and Davis release.