RB Ivory signs tender, trade to Jets coming?

New Orleans Saints running back Chris Ivory, a restricted free agent, on Friday signed the one-year tender offer that he received from the team on March 9.

The deal paves the way for Ivory to be traded by the Saints, and apparently the New York Jets are interested.

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported Friday evening that the Jets are “interested in acquiring the bruising 26-year-old running back for a lower draft choice.” Rich Cimini of ESPN New York reported that “there are strong indications the trade will happen.”

Ivory visited the Jets’ training facility on April 12, but they weren’t interested in parting with a second-round pick to obtain his services.

Ivory, the Saints’ leading rusher in 2010 when he made the roster as an undrafted free agent, was offered a one-year deal for $2.023 million with a second-round draft pick as compensation.

Ivory, however, was eligible to receive an offer from any other team until Friday. If he had been extended an offer, the Saints would have had a chance to match it or accept a second-round pick in return.

The 6-foot, 222-pound Ivory had 137 carries for 716 yards with five touchdowns and was a consensus NFL All-Rookie team pick in 2010. In three seasons with the Saints, he has rushed for 1,307 yards and 10 TDs.

His 5.1 yards per carry average for his career ranks third in franchise history.