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Jets Should Target the Tight End Position in Free Agency


slats

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I think the agreement here is pretty universal; the Jets need receiving help and blocking help. Best way to kill those two birds with one stone is by signing the right TE. The WR and OL markets aren't great. I'd still address both positions, but you're looking at contracts in the $8-10M/year range (or more) for guys like Matt Paradis and Tyrell Williams. Worthy expenditures, but expensive fixes. TEs come much cheaper. 

Eric Tomlinson is credited with 12 starts last season with eight catches for 72 yards. He also had six penalties (one holding call declined) for -44 yards. The man needs to be allowed to walk, and his blocking needs to be replaced. My top target would be C.J. Uzomah from Cincinnati. He stepped up this year with Eifert and Kroft missing a lot of time. He caught 43 passes for 439 yards and three TDs. The Bengals often employed him as an in-line blocker with positive results. Imagine the blocking TE opposite Herdon also being a receiving threat? Blocking and catching passes at a half or third the pay of the top OL or WRs, I'm thinking a 6'6" receiving option would be of significant help to Darnold. 

I like a couple other TEs, too, but I think it might be tough to sign Penn St. alum Jesse James out of Pittsburgh, for instance. Shouldn't be too hard to persuade a Bengal to come play catch with Darnold, though. Not saying it's my Day One Priority (the above-mentioned names, as well as a pass rusher or two, would probably take that honor), but I'd definitely make a day one phone call to his agent and tell him not to sign anywhere until he talks to us. 

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1 minute ago, Joe W. Namath said:

Herndon and Legget are 2 young we drafted that have to play.

The last thing we need to do this offseason is address the tight end position.

Leggett was drafted two years ago and has managed to appear in four games. 

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3 minutes ago, Joe W. Namath said:

Huh?  He played all season this year.

Oops, mistook starts for games. 

In 15 games, he caught 14 passes for 114 yards. That's what you want at the position? He couldn't replace Tomlinson in the starting lineup. You need to carry about four guys at the position, at least two of them should be better than Leggett. 

And again, this is in a year where the WR and OL markets aren't great. This is a cheap, effective way to improve the team. I don't understand the argument against it. 

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Herndon is a top 15 NFL TE 

Leggett the jury is still out, hate to give up the guy this easy. 

Sterling injuries shelved him or else we might have seen something. 

Im ok with exploring options as long as its not a priority and it takes way from signing players in other much needed areas. 

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2 minutes ago, bostonmajet said:

Yep; TE, but also OL, WR, CB, OLB, anyone who can help the team. Target everyone, sign some quality players to good deals....

I'm suggesting the TE position because it helps with both blocking and receiving at less than half the cost of every other position you listed. I agree, the team needs help everywhere, but targeting a top TE does a lot for the team for (relatively) a little money. 

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6 minutes ago, Joe W. Namath said:

Huh?  He played all season this year.

14 catches on 25 targets, played double digit snaps in 15/17 games. Played in 30pct of the teams snaps on offense. 

As far as how well he played. According to PFF he was given a grade of 65.8 which isn't bad for a #2 TE. Herndon was ranked 11th overall. 

Tomlinson still played way too much and I certainly wouldn't mind upgrading from him, but I don't think it's one of our top needs. 

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29 minutes ago, slats said:

I think the agreement here is pretty universal; the Jets need receiving help and blocking help. Best way to kill those two birds with one stone is by signing the right TE. The WR and OL markets aren't great. I'd still address both positions, but you're looking at contracts in the $8-10M/year range (or more) for guys like Matt Paradis and Tyrell Williams. Worthy expenditures, but expensive fixes. TEs come much cheaper. 

Eric Tomlinson is credited with 12 starts last season with eight catches for 72 yards. He also had six penalties (one holding call declined) for -44 yards. The man needs to be allowed to walk, and his blocking needs to be replaced. My top target would be C.J. Uzomah from Cincinnati. He stepped up this year with Eifert and Kroft missing a lot of time. He caught 43 passes for 439 yards and three TDs. The Bengals often employed him as an in-line blocker with positive results. Imagine the blocking TE opposite Herdon also being a receiving threat? Blocking and catching passes at a half or third the pay of the top OL or WRs, I'm thinking a 6'6" receiving option would be of significant help to Darnold. 

I like a couple other TEs, too, but I think it might be tough to sign Penn St. alum Jesse James out of Pittsburgh, for instance. Shouldn't be too hard to persuade a Bengal to come play catch with Darnold, though. Not saying it's my Day One Priority (the above-mentioned names, as well as a pass rusher or two, would probably take that honor), but I'd definitely make a day one phone call to his agent and tell him not to sign anywhere until he talks to us. 

We have alot of cap space.

If we can improve a position, we should.  We're than universally talent-deficient.

A 2nd pass catcher TE/H-Back wouldn't hurt.  As would better blocking all round.

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1 minute ago, JoJoTownsell1 said:

14 catches on 25 targets, played double digit snaps in 15/17 games. Played in 30pct of the teams snaps on offense. 

As far as how well he played. According to PFF he was given a grade of 65.8 which isn't bad for a #2 TE. Herndon was ranked 11th overall. 

Tomlinson still played way too much and I certainly wouldn't mind upgrading from him, but I don't think it's one of our top needs. 

WR is a top need, but there are only a couple good, young WRs in free agency this year and, as a result, they will be in serious demand. Getting another legitimate receiving option at TE lessens their need at WR.

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10 minutes ago, slats said:

Oops, mistook starts for games. 

In 15 games, he caught 14 passes for 114 yards. That's what you want at the position? He couldn't replace Tomlinson in the starting lineup. You need to carry about four guys at the position, at least two of them should be better than Leggett. 

And again, this is in a year where the WR and OL markets aren't great. This is a cheap, effective way to improve the team. I don't understand the argument against it. 

I like your original idea but I do think Leggett might have some potential. Wasn’t he injured all of last year? And judging any player, especially on offense, definitively under this regime is way too harsh imo. There are a number of cautious Mulligan’s going around for young players who we just don’t know what they have. Leggett gets another season under a hopefully competent staff and maybe we see some of his undoubted receiving ability that he showed at Clemson.

otherwise we sure do need to replace ET and I’m liking your plan.

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10 minutes ago, JoJoTownsell1 said:

14 catches on 25 targets, played double digit snaps in 15/17 games. Played in 30pct of the teams snaps on offense. 

As far as how well he played. According to PFF he was given a grade of 65.8 which isn't bad for a #2 TE. Herndon was ranked 11th overall. 

Tomlinson still played way too much and I certainly wouldn't mind upgrading from him, but I don't think it's one of our top needs. 

I like Leggett.  Always seemed to catch the ball when it was thrown to him.  And hes a big dude.  

You have to play the guys you draft.  This kid should play as many snaps as possible next year and see what hes got.

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6 minutes ago, slats said:

WR is a top need, but there are only a couple good, young WRs in free agency this year and, as a result, they will be in serious demand. Getting another legitimate receiving option at TE lessens their need at WR.

WR should be the top priority along with OL and edge rusher. 

Le'veon Bell will be the icing on the cake. 

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1 minute ago, joewilly12 said:

WR should be the top priority along with OL and edge rusher. 

Le'veon Bell will be the icing on the cake. 

In the original post in this thread, I cited WR, OL, and EDGE as the major priorities. Thanks. 

TE is a secondary need, but a solid all-around TE would be a major upgrade for the Jets, and a major help for Darnold, all at a relatively inexpensive price. That's what this thread is about. 

I still don't want Bell. But there's room for discussion about that in Bell threads. 

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54 minutes ago, Joe W. Namath said:

Herndon and Legget are 2 young we drafted that have to play.

The last thing we need to do this offseason is address the tight end position.

Herndon looked great and Leggett showed improvement.  Both look to be good, young guys.  The other benefit...both are on cheap rookie contracts since they were middle round picks.  We can (and should) absolutely look to replace Tomlinson and spending some $ in FA to do so would be a wise move.  @slats general point about the availability of pass-catchers in Free Agency this year is a great one.  The Jets need to improve the passing game but only a novice believes WRs are the only way to do that.  If the Jets sign Le'Veon Bell I'd bet anyone $100 that he leads the team in receptions next year.

Don't get me wrong, I want to improve our WR group, but there are other dimensions to the passing game that can be used.  Cam Newton had 320 completions this year.  Half went to Christian McCaffrey or a TE (Olsen, Ian Thomas).  Same goes for Mahomes....197 completions to TEs or RBs.

As it stands now the TE position will be one of the lowest cost positions on the team I believe.  There's nothing wrong with throwing some $$ at it to get an established veteran who can both block and receive.

The Eagles drafted Dallas Goedert early last year for a team that already has Zach Ertz.  Doug Pederson knows that good TEs can exploit a defense and make an opposing Def. Coordinator very uncomfortable by drawing Safeties into coverage.  I think it's one of the reasons the Eagles have been able to open up the deeper passing game this year.

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13 minutes ago, joewilly12 said:

WR should be the top priority along with OL and edge rusher. 

Le'veon Bell will be the icing on the cake. 

Dude, Le'Veon would BE the cake.

OLine is a must, but without having threats like Bell or TEs it makes it very hard on our WRs.

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16 minutes ago, Joe W. Namath said:

I like Leggett.  Always seemed to catch the ball when it was thrown to him.  And hes a big dude.  

You have to play the guys you draft.  This kid should play as many snaps as possible next year and see what hes got.

58.3% catch rate, and about average size for a TE. 

I'm not cutting the guy. He's under contract on the cheap. Teams generally carry around four TEs, and -IMHO- the Jets would be wise to have at least two of them be better than Leggett. He'll get his chances. He'll either earn them or someone ahead of him on the depth chart will get dinged. 

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I actually think we dont need a top tier TE.  I think Herndon has  a stellar season, and he is going to be the main beneficiary of a full offseason and camp with Sam.

 

Herndon really showed a lot to me this year, and how often do you see a rookie TE make an immediate impact?

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19 minutes ago, UntouchableCrew said:

Herndon is probably one of our best players on offense -- his production relative to the production of the offense as a whole was excellent. 

I'd argue TE is one of the few positions where we're actually in pretty good shape.

 

5 minutes ago, chrisfaceoff said:

I actually think we dont need a top tier TE.  I think Herndon has  a stellar season, and he is going to be the main beneficiary of a full offseason and camp with Sam.

 

Herndon really showed a lot to me this year, and how often do you see a rookie TE make an immediate impact?

I like Herndon a lot. I'm also a big fan of 2-TE sets. The Jets employed that a lot this year with the 8 catches for 72 yards Eric Tomlinson as the other starter. How much better would the offense be if their blocking TE was also good for 40 catches, 400 yards, and a few TDs? All for maybe $4M/year? 

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Im hoping that if the Jet are actually able to trade down and pick up some 2nd rounders that we get Noah Fant. going 2 TE sets will really help Darnold, the RB and this Oline. Getting some max protects going as well as some seam threats. 

Fant isnt a great blocker but he's a high effort guy, which means he'll learn. 

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10 minutes ago, Villain The Foe said:

Im hoping that if the Jet are actually able to trade down and pick up some 2nd rounders that we get Noah Fant. going 2 TE sets will really help Darnold, the RB and this Oline. Getting some max protects going as well as some seam threats. 

Fant isnt a great blocker but he's a high effort guy, which means he'll learn. 

Two things: Trading down is no lock and free agency comes before the draft. 

Jets have $100M+ in cap room this year. I think spending 4% of that on a guy you expect to play over 60% of your offensive snaps, providing solid blocking and a 6'6" target for your young QB is a pretty clever, bird-in-the-hand, investment. TE is a great position to target in free agency because they come cheap. If the Jets do manage to land a second rounder or two, those would be nice picks to spend on WRs, LTs, or EDGEs who break the bank when they hit free agency. 

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14 minutes ago, slats said:

 

I like Herndon a lot. I'm also a big fan of 2-TE sets. The Jets employed that a lot this year with the 8 catches for 72 yards Eric Tomlinson as the other starter. How much better would the offense be if their blocking TE was also good for 40 catches, 400 yards, and a few TDs? All for maybe $4M/year? 

I'm absolutely fine with upgrading the TE2/blocking TE slot. Tomlinson is a zero. I just think relative to other glaring needs it's fairly low priority.

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3 minutes ago, slats said:

Two things: Trading down is no lock and free agency comes before the draft. 

Jets have $100M+ in cap room this year. I think spending 4% of that on a guy you expect to play over 60% of your offensive snaps, providing solid blocking and a 6'6" target for your young QB is a pretty clever, bird-in-the-hand, investment. TE is a great position to target in free agency because they come cheap. If the Jets do manage to land a second rounder or two, those would be nice picks to spend on WRs, LTs, or EDGEs who break the bank when they hit free agency. 

I simply like Noah Fant and think he's worth a look in round 2 "if" the Jets are able to trade down as I said earlier. 

Everything you said I dont have a problem with. It makes sense. I wouldn't mind a WR, edge or LT in the 2nd as well. 

 

:-) 

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13 minutes ago, UntouchableCrew said:

I'm absolutely fine with upgrading the TE2/blocking TE slot. Tomlinson is a zero. I just think relative to other glaring needs it's fairly low priority.

It's a lower priority that can be upgraded significantly with a modest free agent contract. That's what this thread is about. I'm not saying it's a more pressing need than OL/WR/EDGE, I'm saying it's a need that can, and should, be addressed in free agency because there's some talent out there at the position that can be bought cheaply. I'd reach out to the TEs I was interested in to just say, "don't sign anywhere before you talk to us because we're interested," and then continue to pursue my more immediate needs. 

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