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How many needs can/should we fill prior to the draft?


Jetsfan80

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Prior to the Enunwa extension, we were sitting at $102M in cap space.  Though of course that number stands to increase with the announcement in December that the cap will increase by about 6 %. 

With only 31 players currently under contract, that number will decrease quicker than most here expect.  Our own draft failures over the last 4 seasons necessitate that a large chunk of our money be spent on JAGs just to put together a competitive 53-man roster next season. 

We also know that we need to spend 89 % of the cap, based on the CBA.  So we need to use up about $165-169 million of the total cap space alotted.  Meaning we need to spend, at minimum, about $65-$70 million of that cap space this offseason.

So without knowing yet who will be hitting free agency, what are the realistic avenues to filling as many needs as possible prior to the draft?  Here's who I think would be the best players to spend our money on, and we'll assume all of these are actually hitting the market.  I have based their cap hits on what others at the position have received, with a similar talent level:

  • C Matt Paradis (appx. $10-11 million 2019 cap space)  With Ryan Jensen commanding $10 million cap space as the highest paid Center, we'd likely have to overpay for Center help this offseason.  And Paradis fits the bill as the best one available.  We would then be able to shift Spencer Long to G and go to war with a trio of Paradis, Long, and Winters in the interior line. 
  • DE/EDGE Ziggy Ansah ($15-16 million) OR OLB/EDGE Dee Ford ($16-$17 million) OR OLB/EDGE Anthony Barr ($16-17 million):  My guess is the Jets start to shift towards a 4-3 defense, making Ansah an obvious candidate as a 4-3 DE and edge rusher OR Dee Ford/Anthony Barr as an edge-rushing 4-3 OLB.  I'd much rather make a "splash" in free agency here rather than at, say, Le'Veon Bell. 
  • WR Robby Anderson (2nd round tender - $3 million):  Robby is an interesting case, in that he's clearly got a good relationship with Sam Darnold, and though he physically looks like the type of player that gets hurt, he hasn't yet.  Meanwhile, we've already opted to bring back Enunwa.  In this case, I would tender him at a 2nd round level, and take the pick if another team snatches him up.  There are plenty of WR's to like in this year's draft class. 
  • CB Morris Claiborne ($7-8 million):  At 28 years old and coming off a pretty solid season (62.7 rating per PFF), I think Claiborne is worthy of bringing back to be the # 2 corner for the Jets.  Trumaine Johnson will be our albatross, but there's no real reason to create another need by letting Claiborne walk.  And his pricetag should be reasonable for a starting CB.  HOPEFULLY, by addressing our EDGE need in free agency/draft, AND in a new system, our corners will look a lot better as a result. 
  • WR Cole Beasley ($5 million):  As capable a slot receivers as you'll find on the market, Beasley should come in at a very good price range for his skillset.  I say this with a caveat:  If Mike McCarthy ends up the next Jets HC, then Randall Cobb would make the most sense to bring in at about $6-7 million.  
  • RB Ty Montgomery ($2.5-3 million):  I like Montgomery regardless of HC.  Pass-catching RB has been a need for us for a while, and Montgomery makes for a cheap 3rd down checkdown target for Darnold. 
  • QB Robert Griffin III ($5-6 million):  Try not to laugh.  I know, I know.  RG3 sucks.  But for a backup QB who is a decent bet to be let go this offseason, you could do worse.  My thinking is the backup QB needs to do at least one thing that Darnold does, and that one thing for RG3 is that he can move around back there.  Backup QB will largely depend on who the new HC is, but my hope is we go cheap here rather than spending $10 million on our backup QB.  RG3 made $1.1 million this past season, so he'd need a decent pay bump by going from the # 3 in Baltimore to the # 2 here.
  • TE Jesse James ($3 million):  James should be a nice cheap option as a TE2 off the free agent list.  He's a pretty good blocker AND pass catcher, which is just what we need behind Herndon.
  • CB/FS Darryl Roberts ($5 million):  At 28 and having received a PFF grade of 68.9, Roberts might be one of our more underrated assets.  We should be able to retain him at a reasonable pricetag.
  • K Jason Myers ($4 million)
  • OT Ben Ijalana ($3 million)
  • KR Andre Roberts ($3-4 million)
  • S Rontez Miles ($2.5-3 million)
  • WR Deontay Burnett (ERFA - league minimum)

 

Total spending on 2019 cap (appx):  $70-72 million

 

The above takes care of 14 roster spots, pushing us up to 45 players under contract before the draft. 

With the switch to a 4-3, the following under-contract players become eventual cuts: Tarrell Basham, Folorunso Fatukasi, Mike Pennel.

 

The resulting pre-draft depth chart:

 

QB (2):  Sam Darnold, RG3

RB (4):  Isaiah Crowell, Ty Montgomery, Elijah McGuire, Trenton Cannon

WR (5):  Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, Cole Beasley, Deontay Burnett, Charone Peake

TE (3):  Chris Herndon, Jesse James, Jordan Leggett

OT (4):  Kelvin Beachum, Brandon Shell, Ben Ijalana, Eric Smith

G (2):  Brian Winters, Spencer Long

C (1):  Matt Paradis

EDGE (1):  Ziggy Ansah OR Dee Ford OR Anthony Barr

4-3 DT (2):  Leonard Williams, Nathan Shepherd

OLB (1):  Jordan Jenkins

MLB (3):  Avery Williamson, Darron Lee, Kevin Pierre-Louis

CB (6) :  Trumaine Johnson, Morris Claiborne, Darryl Roberts, Parry Nickerson, Derrick Jones, Rashard Robinson

S (4):  Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Rontez Miles, Terrence Brooks

K (1):  Jason Myers

P (1):  Lachlan Edwards

KR (1):  Andre Roberts

LS (1):  Thomas Hennessy

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8 minutes ago, Beerfish said:

zero chance they wold take montgomery if McCarthy was he coach.

zero chance they would pick up RG3

Other than that some plausible moves.

  

Good point.  Forgot they basically outright cut him because of a crucial fumble. 

My ideal pickup for backup QB would be Tyrod Taylor.  But my guess is he'd be way too expensive. 

If McCarthy is the HC......Brett Hundley, maybe?

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27 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:

WR Deontay Burnett ($3-4 million)

Burnett is an ERFA who will be back for the league minimum - if the Jets want him back. 

I agree with much of the rest. Probably go after bigger fish at WR rather than target a slot guy. I like Enunwa in the slot. I want a TE, but think Jesse James will stay put in Pennsylvania. 

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1 minute ago, slats said:

Burnett is an ERFA who will be back for the league minimum - if the Jets want him back. 

I agree with much of the rest. Probably go after bigger fish at WR rather than target a slot guy. I like Enunwa in the slot. I want a TE, but think Jesse James will stay put in Pennsylvania. 

I'd be down to go after Golden Tate.  Otherwise there's a bunch in the draft that would be worth looking at, particularly in a trade-down scenario.

We could also always just re-sign Walford as our TE2 if need be, I suppose.

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Barring a trade down, I think the Jets should plan to go EDGE at #3 (Bosa, Allen, or Ferrell) and structure their FA targets accordingly.

Because I'm mainly focused on offense, I would want to go after:

  • Leveon Bell
  • Robby (I think he's an obvious, cheap re-sign as a tender)
  • Jesse James
  • Tevin Coleman
  • Matt Paradis
  • Ju'Wuan James
  • Rodger Saffold
  • AJ Green (for a 2019 third rounder???)
  • Mike Evans (for a 2020 first rounder???)
  • Adam Humphries

On defense, the top target is Trey Flowers, and I'd also look into Ronald Darby.

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Just now, FidelioJet said:

I still can't understand this strong desire NOT to bring in the biggest offensive playmaker on the market.

Maybe because that would be a RB who wants WR1 money?  That's a poor allocation of resources.

I love Bell's pass-catching abilities, but as a runner, the Steelers proved this year their system and O-line had as much to do with Bell's success in that department as he did. 

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10 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:

Good point.  Forgot they basically outright cut him because of a crucial fumble. 

My ideal pickup for backup QB would be Tyrod Taylor.  But my guess is he'd be way too expensive. 

If McCarthy is the HC......Brett Hundley, maybe?

It wasn't as much the fumble, but ignoring the coaching staff telling him not to try and return it. Hard pass on him. 

Paradis is a no brainer. We have seen first hand the importance of guys like Mangold/Mawae. 

Cole Beasley/Humphries/Tate- All are great slot options. Only issue is how our new HC views Enunwa. If they look at him as a slot guy then these guys are off the table. 

Any pass rusher would be great- Any guy that is capable of getting us double digit sacks is an absolute must. 

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4 minutes ago, FidelioJet said:

I still can't understand this strong desire NOT to bring in the biggest offensive playmaker on the market. 

What is the argument for why Le’Veon Bell will try once he is given a contract of the size he will be given?

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7 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:

Maybe because that would be a RB who wants WR1 money?  That's a poor allocation of resources.

I love Bell's pass-catching abilities, but as a runner, the Steelers proved this year their system and O-line had as much to do with Bell's success in that department as he did. 

And if there was a WR1 available I would be all for signing him.  Forget about numbers and yardage in Pitt...just watch him run - his talent is undeniable as a runner.

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Just now, JoJoTownsell1 said:

Well, I think he will try. The question is what happens when his contract is almost over and he decides he wants a new deal. 

 

Why?  The dude just sat out because 14M was too little this year.  I think buyer funds his retirement.  The move will be fine for Bell long term, I just don’t want to be the team that does it.

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2 minutes ago, FidelioJet said:

Couldn't you say that about anyone?  

Yes - which is why I’d generally avoid big 2nd contracts.  But I think you can say it more for a guy that didn’t put on pads last year because 14M wasn’t enough.

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21 minutes ago, slats said:

Burnett is an ERFA who will be back for the league minimum - if the Jets want him back. 

I agree with much of the rest. Probably go after bigger fish at WR rather than target a slot guy. I like Enunwa in the slot. I want a TE, but think Jesse James will stay put in Pennsylvania. 

Unless we are trading for A Brown, or someone else is cut/traded, there really aren't any big fish that play on the outside. It's all really good slot guys

The one that will probably go cheap is John Brown (although he also plays some slot). He is not a big dude and kind of plays a similar game to Anderson, but he was having a really good year before the Ravens went with a RB to replace an injured Flacco. Before that he had 4 games with over 80 yards. In the 8 games with Jackson (including playoffs) he never eclipsed 30 yards receiving in a game. 

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7 minutes ago, TeddEY said:

Why?  The dude just sat out because 14M was too little this year.  I think buyer funds his retirement.  The move will be fine for Bell long term, I just don’t want to be the team that does it.

He didn't sit because 14 was too little this year, it was because he didn't want to play under the franchise tag, risk injury and not get the big, long term contract he wanted. 

I don't agree with what he did, but if we are spending big bucks on a big name playmaker it's either him or Brown. Pick your poison. 

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1 minute ago, JoJoTownsell1 said:

He didn't sit because 14 was too little this year, it was because he didn't want to play under the franchise tag, risk injury and not get the big, long term contract he wanted. 

I don't agree with what he did, but if we are spending big bucks on a big name playmaker it's either him or Brown. Pick your poison. 

I say neither, and spend that level of money on a pass rusher.

That would give us a ton of flexibility to try to move down in the draft and take a WR in the 1st-3rd rounds. 

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28 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:

Maybe because that would be a RB who wants WR1 money?  That's a poor allocation of resources.

I love Bell's pass-catching abilities, but as a runner, the Steelers proved this year their system and O-line had as much to do with Bell's success in that department as he did. 

He would be our starting RB AND the #1 Receiver on the team.  He'd lead the team in both rushing and receptions.  He'd be the guy drawing the Safety into the box that allows Herndon to burn the seam route and guys like Robby and Enunwa to get some favorable matchups.

My one wish for this offense is to sign two guys, C Matt Paradis and RB Le'Veon Bell.  That makes the Jets dynamite up the middle of their offense C -> QB -> RB.  We work our way out from there, hopefully by getting a LT like Jonah Williams in the Draft.  Great RBs make average WRs look good.  Are guys like Brandon Cooks, Robert Woods and Cooper Cupp (before injury) some of the best WRs in the NFL?  They look great when a good QB can get them the ball after faking a handoff to Todd Gurley.

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4 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:

I say neither, and spend that level of money on a pass rusher.

That would give us a ton of flexibility to try to move down in the draft and take a WR in the 1st-3rd rounds. 

I think there are good arguments for avoiding both or wanting one or the other. It's not an easy call. 

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6 minutes ago, JoJoTownsell1 said:

He didn't sit because 14 was too little this year, it was because he didn't want to play under the franchise tag, risk injury and not get the big, long term contract he wanted. 

I don't agree with what he did, but if we are spending big bucks on a big name playmaker it's either him or Brown. Pick your poison. 

I get his motivation, but I’m not interested in making the huge gamble that he likes football enough to try once he’s mega-rich.

Is there no option of “neither?”

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2 minutes ago, JoJoTownsell1 said:

I think there are good arguments for avoiding both or wanting one or the other. It's not an easy call. 

Indeed.  When you break things down, we can really only afford one "A" free agent and maybe an "A-" along with him.  Everyone else we get will be B's or C's. 

Sign two "A's" and now you can't really afford any "B's".  Just a bunch of JAGs.

That $100+ million goes away quickly when you have to fill out about 22 roster spots. 

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26 minutes ago, Jetmech said:

I believe Davis Webb is ERFA, you think Jets offer him a one year contract?

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Perhaps.  Just depends on what the new HC wants to do.  New regimes almost always mean new QB's.  With Darnold locked in as the starter, the new HC may want to bring in someone he's familiar with to be the backup. 

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Perhaps.  Just depends on what the new HC wants to do.  New regimes almost always mean new QB's.  With Darnold locked in as the starter, the new HC may want to bring in someone he's familiar with to be the backup. 
That's true. Webb would be cheap and it's not like the Jets are anywhere near a complete team to worry about a top BU..

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6 minutes ago, Jetmech said:

That's true. Webb would be cheap and it's not like the Jets are anywhere near a complete team to worry about a top BU..
 

My guess is if we retain Webb, he'd end up the # 3 or a practice squad guy. 

We don't need a TOP backup, certainly, but we do need someone we'd feel confident putting in for a few plays every once in a while. The "little injuries" are what you need to worry about when your starter is in place.  A catastrophic injury to the starter (knock on wood) and you're f***ed regardless.....unless you have Nick Foles.

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My guess is if we retain Webb, he'd end up the # 3 or a practice squad guy. 
We don't need a TOP backup, certainly, but we do need someone we'd feel confident putting in for a few plays every once in a while. The "little injuries" are what you need to worry about when your starter is in place.  A catastrophic injury to the starter (knock on wood) and you're f***ed regardless.....unless you have Nick Foles.
Sounds like a plan. The Jets need Sam to be healthy all year.

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I think the strategy has to be how free agent signings will set up the draft.  That said, I don't see how you can avoid bringing in a LT and possibly LG.  I just don't see Long as being a reliable starting OL.  If Mac can avoid needing to take a LT with the #3 pick he should.  

  • LT - Donovan Smith or Trent Brown
  • C - Matt Paradis
  • WR - Adam Humphries
  • RB - Tevin Coleman

Defense

  • Trey Flowers  
  • Grady Jarrett
  • Anthony Barr

This haul opens up so many opportunities for the draft including trading Leo for a #2.  I would even consider signing Suh for a one year rental.  Don't be shocked if Mac entertains signing Sheldon.  The draft could then look like:

  • 1st (#3) - Williams, Bosa or Ed Oliver
  • 2nd - LG
  • 3rd - WR
  • 3rd - RB
  • 4th - C or T

 

 

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