1. He's returning to a familiar division. Ivory, 29, played the best football of his career for the New York Jets from 2013-15. Over that time, he played in 46 games, making 30 starts, and rushed 627 times for 2,724 yards and 16 touchdowns while adding 50 catches for 350 yards and two scores. He carried 29 times for a career-best 166 yards in a Week 3 win over the Miami Dolphins during the 2015 season.
In seven career games against the Bills, Ivory has rushed 72 times for 401 yards and four touchdowns. His teams are just 1-6 in those games.
2. He's tough. Ivory's running style is best described as violent. The 6-foot-0, 223-pounder rarely shies away from contact. In a release on his signing put together by the Bills' public relations department, a 2015 quote from Broncos linebacker Von Miller is used. "Chris Ivory is such a punishing back," Miller said. "Honestly, the punishers are the guys who you really hate playing against, because even if they don't have the blocking, they're gonna make you hurt. Over the course of 60 minutes, you'll get to the point where you don't wanna tackle them anymore. It's human nature. You don't want to put yourself in that kind of harm.
"And Ivory causes harm, bro. He almost never runs out of bounds to preserve himself. He lays his body on the line for his teammates."
3. He went undrafted in 2010. Despite not being selected out of Division II Tiffin University, Ivory didn't take long to establish himself as an undrafted free agent of the New Orleans Saints. In Week 6 of his rookie season, he exploded for 175 yards from scrimmage on 16 touches in a 31-6 victory over Tampa. He finished his first NFL season with 137 carries for 716 yards and five touchdowns.
Ivory, however, suffered a foot injury in Week 17 of his rookie season. That, along with a sports hernia, forced him to open the 2011 season on the physically-unable-to-perform list. He was activated in Week 8 of the 2011 season, rushing 79 times for 374 yards and one touchdown in the regular season and 22 times for a team-leading 70 yards in the Saints' two playoff games.
The Saints traded Ivory to the Jets during the 2013 draft for the Jets' fourth-round pick.
4. He's done well at the business of football. Ivory's best season came with the Jets in 2015. He rushed 247 times for 1,070 yards and seven touchdowns, adding 30 receptions and making the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement. That led to him signing a five-year contract with Jacksonville worth up to $32 million.
Ivory was released Feb. 23 after playing just two years of that contract. The Jaguars drafted Leonard Fournette in the first round in 2017, pushing Ivory down the depth chart. He carried 112 times for 382 yards and one touchdown in 2017, sitting out the final two games of the regular season and appearing in just one of Jacksonville's three playoff games.
Ivory's deal with Jacksonville included $10 million in guarantees, all of which were paid out over the last two seasons. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Bills gave Ivory a two-year contract worth up to $6 million, with $3.25 million guaranteed in the first year. That means Ivory has earned more than $14 million in the past three years.
The #Bills are signing RB Chris Ivory to a 2-year deal worth $5.5M base, source said. He gets $3.25M guaranteed in the first year and it can be worth $6M max.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 6, 2018
According to contracts website spotrac.com, Ivory's $2.75 million average annual value from the Bills ranks 21st among running backs in the NFL.
— Spotrac (@spotrac) March 6, 2018
5. His high school team in Texas was loaded. Ivory attended Longview High School in Longview, Texas. His best friend growing up was Trent Williams, who has been named to six straight Pro Bowls as a member of the Washington Redskins. Ivory and Williams team up every summer to host a football camp in their hometown.
"It's about believing in yourself and just knowing that inside yourself that you have what it takes to get to the next level, but it also takes determination," Ivory said in 2015 of his camp, according to the Bills. "You've got to be determined, have that willpower and just be mentally tough to continue to push yourself."
Ivory and Williams weren't the only future NFL players on their high school team. Receiver Malcolm Kelly and linebacker Robert Henson also attended Longview.
After high school, Ivory spent three years at Washington State. His time there ended on a sour note, as he was dismissed from the team in August 2009 for a violation of team rules. He ran for just 534 yards in three years at Washington State, with his time there limited by a series of injuries.
Story topics: Chris Ivory