Bills sign Ivory to 2-year deal
BUFFALO — Once he was released by Jacksonville, running back Chris Ivory wasted little time moving on to Plan B: The chance to serve as LeSean McCoy’s primary backup in Buffalo.
“I always felt I had something to prove and things didn’t go as planned, man,” Ivory said, referring to the Jaguars during a telephone conference call shortly after agreeing to a two-year contract with the Bills on Tuesday. “All I can do now is continue to stay dedicated to my craft and continue to build.”
As for his new role behind McCoy, the Bills’ workhorse, Ivory said: “It’s whatever coach asks me to do.”
Ivory’s new deal guarantees him $3.25 million in pay, and was reached less than two weeks after he was cut . Ivory finished with just 382 yards rushing and a touchdown and was inactive for four of the Jaguars’ final five games. He lasted just two seasons with Jacksonville after signing a five-year, $32 million contract as the Jaguars drafted Leonard Fournette last April and made him the starter.
The 29-year-old returns to the AFC East, where he topped 800 yards rushing in each of his three seasons with the New York Jets from 2013-15. His best season came in 2015, when Ivory had 1,070 yards rushing and scored seven touchdowns in 15 games.
Ivory is known for being a physical runner and provides the Bills a complement to McCoy’s elusive style.
Overall, he has 4,852 yards rushing and 28 touchdowns in a career that began with a three-year stint with the New Orleans Saints.
Getting Ivory allowed the Bills to address a need at the position a little over a week before the start of the NFL’s free agency signing period. Buffalo has three running backs eligible to become free agents, including fullback Mike Tolbert.
Ivory said he visited Buffalo and Cleveland since being cut by the Jaguars, and had phone conversations with other teams without revealing which ones.
“It just felt good when I got here, just felt the right place for me,” Ivory said.