Could Jets replace Chris Ivory with DeMarco Murray in 2016?

Reaching into the Week 15 mailbag for a question on the New York Jets:

@RichCimini: It's a very interesting thought, one worth exploring. Ultimately, I think the Jets would find it cost-prohibitive, but let's take a look at it anyway.

This, of course, is based on the assumption the Philadelphia Eagles would be willing to sell low. Obviously, it hasn't worked out with DeMarco Murray, so, yeah, I could see Chip Kelly -- if he's still in charge -- putting him on the trading block. We also know the Jets will be looking for a running back (probably two) because Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell and Stevan Ridley will be free agents.

The Eagles could trade Murray without wrecking their cap. Right now, his cap number for 2016 is $8 million, but they'd cut that in half by dealing him, according to Overthecap.com. They'd get stuck with $4 million in dead money, which is manageable.

Now look at it from the Jets' perspective. Murray has four years, $29.5 million remaining on his contract, including a $7 million guarantee in 2016 and a $2 million guarantee in 2017. The guaranteed money isn't ridiculous; they absorbed roughly the same amount when they traded for Brandon Marshall. The problem is the total compensation in 2016 and 2017 -- $14.5 million.

The Jets probably could re-sign Ivory and Powell for that price. Looking at recent running-back contracts, Ivory figures to land something in the $3-million to $4-million-a-year range. Case in point: Ryan Mathews, whose career numbers are close to those of Ivory, signed a three-year, $11-million contract last offseason with the Eagles. Remember, the free-agent market isn't what it used to be for backs, with a few exceptions.

With cap issues looming, I don't think the Jets would be willing to pay $7 million a year to one back. Ivory might not be on Murray's level, but he's pretty close and they're the same age, 27. Me? I'd re-sign Ivory, draft a back in the third or fourth round and use the leftover money at another position.