The Jets signed Ballage (hamstring) on Tuesday. The Jets previously attempted to acquire Ballage from the Dolphins in late August, but the trade was voided after the running back failed his physical due to a hamstring injury. Miami later released Ballage, freeing him up to join New York now that he's seemingly healthy again. Ballage will step in to provide a healthy body behind Frank Gore, who now sits atop the Jets' backfield depth chart after Le'Veon Bell (hamstring) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. Rookie La'Mical Perine (ankle) -- when healthy -- also looms as a challenger for reps behind Gore, while practice-squad back Josh Adams could also be promoted to the active roster ahead of the Jets' Week 2 game against the 49ers. Even if Ballage emerges as the top complement to Gore this weekend, the 2018 fourth-round pick did little during his time with Miami to get excited about his prospects. Over his two seasons with the Dolphins, Ballage averaged 3.0 yards per carry on 110 attempts and hauled in 23 of 35 targets for 3.4 YPT.
Ballage (hamstring) and the Dolphins agreed to an injury settlment Saturday, Safid Deen and Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. Ballage, who had his trade to the Jets nullified after failing his physical due to a hamstring injury, will now be able to hit the open market. The 24-year-old saw action in 12 games with the Dolphins in 2019, carrying the ball 74 times for just 135 yards and three scores. He'll look to get healthy and find a depth role elsewhere around the league.
The Dolphins plan to send Ballage to the Jets in exchange for a conditional late-round draft pick, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Per the report, the Dolphins had planned to release Ballage, but the Jets made a subsequent offer and now the running back is poised to join a backfield that already includes Le'Veon Bell, Frank Gore and La'Mical Perine. In that context, there's not a clear path to carries for Ballage, but he is at least a player who coach Adam Gase is familiar with from the time the two worked together in Miami in 2018.
The Dolphins cut Ballage on Wednesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. The Dolphins telegraphed Ballage's departure when they signed another running back in rookie Salvon Ahmed earlier Wednesday. The team gave Ballage every opportunity to prove himself worthy of a role on offense in 2019, but his averages of 1.8 yards on 74 carries and 2.6 yards on 24 targets were the lowest mark of any member of the backfield. The 2018 fourth-round pick's size and athletic tools could result in him finding a depth role with another organization, and at this point, a change of scenery could be for the best.
Running backs coach Eric Studesville said he isn't giving up on Ballage, who has been joined by Jordan Howard and Matt Breida in the Miami backfield, Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com reports. Ballage may get his shot to earn a Week 1 role, but it likely would be a very limited one. With Howard and Breida locked in for roster spots, the Dolphins figure to have Ballage, Patrick Laird, Myles Gaskin and Malcolm Perry competing for one or two jobs. It's a situation where special teams value could make the difference, which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing for a 230-pounder with 4.46 speed who logged 292 ST snaps through the first two years of his career. However, Laird was a bigger factor on special teams last year, and he also showed far more ability in the passing game. This competition won't carry much fantasy intrigue unless Breida or Howard suffers an injury.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/20||San Francisco 49ers||21||22.00|
|6||10/18||@Los Angeles Chargers||3||7.00|
|8||11/01||@Kansas City Chiefs||17||18.00|
|9||11/09||New England Patriots||14||15.00|
|13||12/06||Las Vegas Raiders||24||24.00|
|15||12/20||@Los Angeles Rams||26||27.00|
|17||01/03||@New England Patriots||14||15.00|
|3 Year Avg||55||163||2||12||60||0||34|