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FREE AGENT dept. - Lookin' at 2020 ~ ~ ~


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Jets fans are in for a lot of ugly matchups over the next few weeks.

Obviously, head coach Adam Gase’s team stinks. There’s a reason they are 2-7. And their opponents aren’t much better.Last week brought a matchup against the lowly Giants. Now they get to face the 1-8 Redskins. In a couple weeks, it’ll be the winless Bengals. Then they get another shot at the tanking Dolphins.

Yikes.

So, it’s understandable if you’re a Jets fan, but don’t really want to watch the Jets all that badly. If you’re looking to fill your football fix in other ways on Sunday, though, perhaps it’s worth doing some daydreaming – and advance scouting.

Here are 11 players set to hit free agency who are playing this week and might be worth watching if Jets-Redskins just isn’t enough to keep you interested:

WR Amari Cooper, Cowboys (Sunday at Lions, 1 p.m.)

Is wide receiver the Jets’ No. 1 need? Absolutely not. But boy, oh boy, could quarterback Sam Darnold use a legitimate, elite threat on the outside. Cooper has done wonders for Dak Prescott in Dallas and could be the trick to elevating Darnold’s game, too, if Douglas decided to make him a priority. Plenty of other holes need addressing and are more pressing, though.

DE Yannick Ngakoue, Jaguars (Sunday at Colts, 1 p.m.)

There’s no doubt that the Jets need help in the pass rush; this team hasn’t had a legitimate threat on the edge in more than a decade. Ngakoue is intriguing because he’s both effective and young – he’s just 24 years old right now. So even toward the end of a healthy free-agent contract, he would still be in his prime years.

OLB Shaq Barrett, Bucs (Sunday vs. Saints, 1 p.m.)

It’s impossible not to mention Barrett if you’re talking about adding an edge rusher. After all, the guy leads the league with 11.5 sacks through nine games. The risk is the small sample size; Barrett had just 14 sacks in five years prior to this breakout. Still, this performance has been impossible to overlook.

EDGE Everson Griffen, Vikings (Sunday vs. Broncos, 1 p.m.)

The concern with Griffen is that he’s on the brink of 32. The good news is that he’s still crazy productive. He’s already surpassed last year’s total of 5.5 sacks – which was way down from normal because he was limited to 11 games. Prior to that dip, Griffen posted 43.5 sacks in four seasons. Now he has six through 10 games this year. Clearly being over 30 hasn’t slowed him down yet.

DE Chris Jones, Chiefs (Monday at Chargers 8:15 p.m.)

Jones hasn’t produced at the same level as last season, when he notched 15.5 sacks. But he still has five in seven games this year, which is darn good. He’s only 25, too, so he fits the bill as a younger free agent.

CB Bradley Roby, Texans (Sunday vs. Ravens, 1 p.m.)

The only defensive need more pressing than edge rusher is cornerback. The Jets literally do not have one decent, proven outside cornerback on their roster right now. They need to add a pair of starters, then rebuild their depth at the position, too. Roby is one of the best corners set to hit the market, so Douglas would be wise to kick the tires here.

CB James Bradberry, Panthers (Sunday vs. Falcons, 1 p.m.)

The Jets probably won’t find the second coming of Darrelle Revis in free agency, but they certainly need a bona fide No. 1 corner. Bradberry could be that guy. He gets to square off against Falcons wideout Julio Jones this week, so this is a great showcase game for him.

CB Marcus Peters, Ravens (Sunday at Texans, 1 p.m.)

Peters is a top-tier playmaker. The guy had eight picks as a rookie, which is just plain absurd. His career-low for interceptions is three, which came last year. He already has four this season. He has 26 total for his career, which is only in its fifth year. Oh, and he’s just 26 years old. Sure sounds like a guy the Jets could use.

OT Anthony Castonzo, Colts (Sunday vs. Jaguars, 1 p.m.)

The Jets need to rebuild their entire offensive line. Odds are they’ll do at least a chunk of that work in the draft, but they’re probably going to need to find some free-agent fits, too. Castonzo is probably the best tackle available. Fun showcase game for him against a tough Jaguars defensive front.

OG Joe Thuney, Patriots (Sunday at Eagles, 4:25 p.m.)

The Jets could kill two birds with one stone if they’re able to lure Thuney away from their division rivals. He’s not super young at age 27, but that shouldn’t be an issue for the Jets. If they add a few pieces in the draft, they’ll need some veterans to help round out the unit. Thuney would be a nice fit in that regard.

C Connor McGovern, Broncos (Sunday at Vikings, 1 p.m.)

Ryan Kalil has been a disaster. Spencer Long was horrible last year. We could keep going, but the point is that the Jets haven’t had a reliable center since Nick Mangold left. It’s been a while. That needs to end pronto. McGovern would instantly shore up the pivot and bring some versatility; he’s played both guard spots as well.

>      https://www.nj.com/jets/2019/11/nfl-free-agents-2020-bored-by-jets-redskins-slog-keep-an-eye-these-11-players-joe-douglas-could-target-during-week-11-instead.html

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On 11/16/2019 at 1:18 PM, PepPep said:

F that, I'll be watching Scherff as the Jets stout run D faces Washington's main offensive threat- Gise/Peterson and the run game. 

..building Blocks  😎

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  • 3 months later...

~ ~ But his absence could leave Detroit without its three top defensive tackles from 2019; A'Shawn Robinson and Mike Daniels are headed to free agency.

rest of above article

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/28746372/source-lions-release-damon-snacks-harrison

 

* * depending on how much $ he's lookin' for.. robinson would be a good addition to our roster   😎

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NY Jets should take a flyer on Marqise Lee in free agency

The NY Jets look to enter the 2020 season with a lot of roster holes. In order to help address their issues at wide receiver, they should take a chance on Marqise Lee.

At first glance, the NY Jets seem poised to open the 2020 season on a high note. After a rough start to the 2019 season (1-7), the Jets rallied to finish with a respectable record (7-9).And in spite of enduring a new head coach and a bout with illness, quarterback Sam Darnold showed noticeable improvement between his rookie (17 TD/15 INT/57.7 completion percentage) and sophomore seasons (19 TD/13 INT/61.9 completion percentage).

However, general manager Joe Douglas has his work cut out for him if the Jets hope to continue their momentum into the upcoming season.The Jets have a litany of high-impact free agents, including Robby Anderson, Demaryius Thomas, Brian Poole, Kelvin Beachum, and Jordan Jenkins. The team was already weak at offensive line and cornerback, and losing Anderson and Thomas threatens to create a crisis at wide receiver as well.While the Jets project to have a good amount of cap space (currently about $56 million) and can certainly free up some more with strategic cuts, they have a lot of roster holes and limited resources with which to fill them.

Potential Cap Casualties
(savings)

Sammy Watkins ($14M)
AJ Bouye ($11.4M)
Vernon Hargreaves ($9.9M)
Jordan Reed ($8.5M)
Alec Ogletree ($8.25M)
Delanie Walker ($6.4M)
Marqise Lee ($5.25M)
Jerick McKinnon ($4.55M)
Devonta Freeman ($3.5M)
Trumaine Johnson ($3M)
Gio Bernard ($2.8M)

109
 
The Jets will have to get creative if they want to field a competitive team next season.In addition to maximizing the value of their draft picks (by drafting well and even trading down when possible), the Jets will need to scour through the entire free agent pool for discount players.

For example, let’s look at wide receiver.

Early reports suggest that the Jets will probably not be able to resign Anderson. Assuming Anderson leaves, the team will be left with the challenging task of replacing their No. 1 wide receiver and best deep threat.While it would be great if the Jets could afford to bring in a similar star to replace Anderson (perhaps Sammy Watkins or Amari Cooper if they are available), it may not be the most realistic or prudent solution.

Consider the following three players.

  • Player A: 63 catches for 941 yards and seven touchdowns
  • Player B: 39 catches for 593 yards and eight touchdowns
  • Player 😄 48 catches for 680 yards and seven touchdowns
  • Player 😧 56 catches for 702 yards and three touchdowns
  •  
  • Player A is Anderson, Player B is Watkins, Player C is Cooper, and Player D is Marqise Lee. All stats are from the 2017 season.The reason those numbers are from 2017 is because that was the last time Lee was healthy for an entire season. Lee is injury-prone and inevitably carries with him a great degree of risk, making it likely that the Jacksonville Jaguars will cut him.
  • However, Lee has shown during brief bouts of success that he can put up comparable numbers with some of the better free-agent wide receivers out there. And he would presumably cost a fraction of the price.Building a successful team ultimately comes from making the best use of your resources. Obviously the Jets would be greatly improved by adding Cooper, but is he worth $15+ million/ year?While Anderson and Watkins shouldn’t cost as much as Cooper, they will both probably cost more than $10 million/ year. Meanwhile, the Jets could probably offer a low-risk, incentive-laden deal to Lee for less than $5 million.

  • Successful teams aren’t built by spending wildly and adding all the most exciting names. They are built by assembling the most talent across multiple positions for the most efficient costs possible.

  • The Jets should follow that mantra and take a chance on Lee.

  • https://thejetpress.com/2020/02/18/ny-jets-marqise-lee-free-agency/

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Over the next several months, the rosters of all 32 teams will begin to take shape for the 2020 season. In this series, NFL.com writers and analysts look at the best players available via free agency or the NFL draft at the following positions: quarterback, running back, wide receiver, defensive back and pass rusher. Today, Michael Robinson looks at the top 10 running backs worth pursuing.

1) Derrick Henry, free agent

Henry's workload steadily increased over his four seasons with the Tennessee Titans, proving he is a desired bell cow who can carry a team. In 2019, Henry led the league and set career highs in carries (303), rush yards (1,540) and rush TDs (16), while averaging a robust 5.1 yards per carry (also a career best) and leading the Titans to a deep playoff run. The combination of his size (6-foot-3, 247 pounds), speed and nasty stiff arm make Henry utterly impossible to bring down. In fact, he averaged 4.2 yards after contact (most in the NFL, min. 100 carries) and forced 58 missed tackles on rushes, according to Pro Football Focus. The way Henry took over games should entice any running back-needy team to look his way.

2) Kenyan Drake, free agent

Drake looked like an entirely different player after being traded to Arizona in late October. He averaged 3.7 yards per carry in six games with the Dolphins before finding his stride in Kliff Kingsbury's offense down the stretch. In Weeks 9-17 with the Cardinals, Drake ranked in the top six in many major rushing categories, including yards (643) and touchdowns (eight). We've just seen a glimpse of what Drake is capable of in the passing game, too, as a guy who's a spread speedster out of the backfield.

3) D'Andre Swift, draft prospect

The top running backs in 2019 were all in their rookie contracts, so it'd be stupid not to look at the top player at the position in this year's draft class. Swift is a dynamic runner suited to be an every-down back at the next level. He played in all 14 games last season, but battled a shoulder injury that limited him to 11 starts. If Swift can avoid injury, expect him to be an instant-impact player as a rookie.

4) Kareem Hunt, free agent

Hunt has been one of the top running backs (when he's on the field) since he entered the league in 2017. As a powerful zone runner and unmatched weapon out of the backfield, he immediately impacts the run and pass games just by being on the field. Hunt is elusive when running between the tackles or out in space, as he's forced a missed tackle on 24.7 percent of rushes since 2017, the highest percentage in the NFL in that span of players with a minimum of 275 rushes. In addition to his off-field concerns -- and there are several -- the important thing to know here is that he's a restricted free agent. The Browns can choose to place a tender on him -- they will get compensation in return if another team signs Hunt -- and they have the opportunity to match any offer sheet the back signs with another team.

5) Carlos Hyde, free agent

Getting traded to the Houston Texans in the preseason after Lamar Miller suffered a season-ending injury paid off for Hyde. He registered his first 1,000-yard rushing campaign in Year 6. Hyde, who turns 30 later this year, showed he has the ability to be a bell cow and proved to have a lot more football in him.

6) J.K. Dobbins, draft prospect

Rushing for 2,000 yards and 21 touchdowns last season at Ohio State, Dobbins proved to be a dependable starter who can handle a heavy load. He accelerates at the point of attack and has the long speed to break loose on any given rush. His game should hold up well at the next level, and any player who lands in Daniel Jeremiah's top 50 prospect list deserves a second look if a team is searching for a starter or depth in the backfield.

7) Austin Ekeler, free agent

Ekeler finished the 2019 season with 1,550 scrimmage yards (557 rushing yards, 993 receiving yards), and his production landed him among the likes of this year's league MVP Lamar Jackson and Offensive Player of the Year Michael Thomas in one notable fashion: These three guys were the only players last season with at least 150 touches and 6.5-plus scrimmage yards per touch -- further illustrating Ekeler's impact when he gets the ball. Ekeler's versatility out of the backfield could benefit a ton of offenses, and defenses tend to have fewer players in the box when he's lined up in the backfield because of his impact as a pass catcher, which also gives Ekeler an advantage in the run game. Like Kareem Hunt, Ekeler is a restricted free agent this offseason, so depending on what the Chargers decide to do, there's a chance Ekeler could stay put.

8) Chris Thompson, free agent

Thompson may not have as much juice as Austin Ekeler, but he will provide an offense with a player who can elevate the passing game out of the backfield. The savvy pass catcher who routinely separates at the top of his routes is one of three running backs with at least 35 receptions each season since 2015 -- joining James White and Duke Johnson. He'll provide a valuable asset in the air attack and especially on third down.

9) Melvin Gordon, free agent

The reason Gordon sits so low on my list is simple: Teams need their bell cow to be available and Gordon hasn't been. The soon-to-be 27-year-old has played a full 16-game season just once in his five years with the Chargers, and after conducting a contract holdout for the first four weeks of last season, he went on to finish with a career-low 612 yards. When looking at his running style, he's not really a back who can create when nothing is there. He needs an entry point at the line of scrimmage to work off.

10) Lamar Miller, free agent

The season-ending knee injury Miller suffered last preseason might hurt his stock. But teams that are willing to take a chance on the eight-year vet will get a disciplined zone runner who can be a home-run hitter from anywhere on the field.

>    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001102644/article/ten-running-backs-worth-pursuing-in-free-agency2020-nfl-draft

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There is no doubt that the Jets need some help at right tackle.

Brandon Shell was downright disappointing in 2019 and Chuma Edoga still has a long way to go in his development before he can be considered for a starting job. Joe Douglas will likely use free agency to fill the void on the right side of New York’s offensive line, but the first-year general manager must be careful in his pursuit of a new starter in the trenches.There are plenty of attractive right tackles available on the open market this offseason, but some should not be touched under any circumstance. Who are the right tackles Douglas and the Jets should avoid in free agency? Let’s take a look.

Dennis Kelly

Kelly has made 31 career starts and briefly overlapped with Douglas in Philadelphia, but his experience and minimal familiarity with New York’s general manager should not cause the Jets to heavily pursue the veteran tackle this offseason.Kelly is not a full-time starter anymore for a reason. His experience on the line is good to have, but New York needs an established starter at right tackle. If the Jets go after Kelly as a backup that is all well and good, but odds are some team will throw starter-level money at him once free agency kicks off.The Jets should not be that team. They can find better options at right tackle elsewhere.

Mike Remmers

Remmers is best served as a backup swing tackle at this point in his career — not a starting right tackle.Remmers is getting up there in age and frankly, his skills are on the decline. His best seasons have come playing for Pat Shurmur with the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants. Other than that, he has been relatively pedestrian throughout his career.The Jets don’t need a declining right tackle who has only thrived in one scheme.

Marcus Gilbert

If it weren’t for an injury history the length of a novel,Gilbert would not be too bad of an option for the Jets. The veteran tackle has been productive when healthy throughout his career and has plenty of big-game experience. In a perfect world, he is the ideal candidate to protect Sam Darnold’s right side.The only problem is Gilbert is never able to stay healthy. He tore his ACL before he could ever play a game for the Arizona Cardinals last season. That alone should be reason enough for Douglas and the Jets to steer clear.

Joe Haeg

Haeg has a good amount of experience as a starter and positional versatility, but he is not exactly what the Jets need out of their next right tackle.Haeg can slot in anywhere on the line, but is not exactly spectacular at a given position. The Jets need a player who can give them more than a mediocre level of play.Haeg would be intriguing as a reserve signing, but that’s about it.

>    https://jetswire.usatoday.com/2020/02/24/2020-nfl-free-agency-new-york-jets-joe-douglas-dennis-kelly/4/

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The NY Jets are expected to explore the edge rusher market this offseason, but one big name is reportedly expected to be unavailable after all.

The NY Jets have been searching for a standout edge rusher for well over a decade at this point and that search will likely extend into the 2020 offseason.

While the draft is always the best way to fill long-term needs,the 2020 NFL Draft class doesn’t seem too promising. Chase Young is the clear-cut top pass rusher, but it’s a steep drop-off after that.The likes of K’Lavon Chaisson, A.J. Epenesa, and Yetur Gross-Matos are all vying for that second edge rusher spot, but none are too intriguing for the Jets. It’s more likely the team will look to address the offensive line or wide receiver in the first round.And with the lack of depth in the edge rusher class, they may ignore the position entirely in the draft. That means that they’ll need to do everything they can to address the position through other needs — primarily in free agency.

Unfortunately, one of the top names expected to hit free agency will reportedly not be on the market at all.

ESPN’s Jamison Hensley reported on Saturday that the Baltimore Ravens are expected to place the franchise tag on outside linebacker Matthew Judon thus removing his name from the projected free agents list.Judon is fresh off a 9.5-sack season in which he started all 16 games for Baltimore’s stout defense. The 27-year-old has developed into one of the more unheralded pass rushers in the NFL totaling 24.5 sacks over the past three seasons.

Expectedly, the Ravens don’t want to just let him walk.

After losing Za’Darius Smith in free agency last season and seeing him have a career year in Green Bay, the Ravens could ill-afford to lose another talented edge rusher. The only dilemma was their current cap situation which is tight.Judon’s tag will cost them about half of their remaining cap space and while there’s still talk they could look to trade him, the best bet is on them retaining him for at least another season.

That’s bad news for a team like the Jets who would have had a lot of interest if he were to hit the open market.

Others such as Yannick Ngakoue, Jadeveon Clowney, and Shaquil Barrett are also set to be free agents but their respective teams will still have time to either re-sign them long-term or hand out franchise tags — except for Clowney who is exempt from the tag.If the Jets can’t land a top-tier option, others like Bud Dupree and Dante Fowler are each coming off career years and could be intriguing contingency plans.Either way, the Ravens’ reported plan to franchise tag Judon is just the first domino to fall in what should be a very interesting offseason.And for the Jets, they’ll be hoping that as many players as possible hit the open market.

>    https://thejetpress.com/2020/02/23/ny-jets-matthew-judon-free-agent-market/

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The following are PFT’s top 100 free agents for the start of the 2020 league year. The rankings include prospective unrestricted and restricted free agents, as well as released players. The list will be updated as events warrant, with signings, tags and re-signings denoted when announced and/or reported.

1. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott

2. Saints quarterback Drew Brees

3. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady

4. Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones

5. Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper

6. Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill

7. Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston

8. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers

9. Buccaneers edge rusher Shaq Barrett

10. Broncos cornerback Chris Harris

11. Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue

12. Seahawks edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney

13. Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones

14. Washington guard Brandon Scherff

15. Vikings safety Anthony Harris

16. Broncos safety Justin Simmons

17. 49ers defensive lineman Arik Armstead

18. Patriots guard Joe Thuney

19. Rams inside linebacker Cory Littleton

20. Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater

21. Bengals receiver A.J. Green

22. Titans running back Derrick Henry

23. Titans offensive tackle Jack Conklin

24. Rams outside linebacker Dante Fowler

25. Ravens outside linebacker Matthew Judon

26. Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (restricted)

27. Colts offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo

28. Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree

29. Jets receiver Robby Anderson

30. Chargers tight end Hunter Henry

31. Falcons tight end Austin Hooper

32. Panthers cornerback James Bradberry

33. Texans defensive tackle D.J. Reader

34. Steelers defensive tackle Javon Hargrave

35. Titans cornerback Logan Ryan

36. 49ers safety Jimmie Ward

37. Patriots safety Devin McCourty

38. Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes

39. Patriots defensive end Kyle Van Noy

40. Cowboys defensive end Robert Quinn

41. Chargers running back Melvin Gordon

42. Buccaneers receiver Breshad Perriman

43. Browns linebacker Joe Schobert

44. Packers offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga

45. Giants defensive end Leonard Williams

46. Rams defensive end Michael Brockers

47. Seahawks defensive tackle Jarran Reed

48. Ravens defensive tackle Michael Pierce

49. Patriots outside linebacker Jamie Collins

50. Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson

51. Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake

52. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota

53. Browns safety Damarious Randall

54. Jets cornerback Brian Poole

55. Lions guard Graham Glasgow

56. Cowboys receiver Randall Cobb

57. Broncos defensive lineman Shelby Harris

58. Colts tight end Eric Ebron

59. Packers inside linebacker Blake Martinez

60. Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul

61. Texans cornerback Bradley Roby

62. Saints cornerback Eli Apple

63. Bears safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

64. 49ers receiver Emmanuel Sanders

65. Panthers safety Tre Boston

66. Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith

67. Broncos center Connor McGovern

68. Chiefs cornerback Kendall Fuller

69. Eagles offensive tackle Jason Peters

70. Vikings cornerback Mackensie Alexander

71. Eagles safety Rodney McLeod

72. Bills defensive tackle Jordan Phillips

73. Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe

74. Chiefs receiver Demarcus Robinson

75. Panthers offensive tackle Daryl Williams

76. Falcons edge rusher Vic Beasley

77. Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby

78. Saints safety Vonn Bell

79. Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland

80. Saints offensive guard Andrus Peat

81. Cowboys defensive tackle Maliek Collins

82. Panthers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy

83. Buccaneers defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh

84. Chargers safety Adrian Phillips

85. Seahawks offensive lineman Germain Ifedi

86. Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham

87. Raiders safety Karl Joseph

88. Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata

89. Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard

90. Eagles offensive lineman Halapoulivaati Vaitai

91. Falcons outside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell

92. Giants defensive end Markus Golden

93. Bengals defensive tackle Andrew Billings

94. Texans running back Carlos Hyde

95. Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (restricted)

96. Packers cornerback Tramon Williams

97. Eagles receiver Nelson Agholor

98. Lions defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson

99. Bears inside linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski

100. Rams offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2020/02/24/pfts-free-agent-top-100-3/

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To say Adam Gase’s offense didn’t perform well in 2019 would be an insult to mediocrity.

The Jets didn’t just underperform this past season, they outright stunk. New York finished 31st in points and 32nd in yards, and the only reason they won seven games was thanks to Gregg Williams’ defense. Now, some of these failures can be attributed to Sam Darnold’s three-game absence and Mike Maccagnan’s decision to neglect the offensive line and overspend in free agency, but Gase still couldn’t put together a good offense and the Jets suffered mightily because of it.

Now that Maccagnan is gone, Darnold literally can’t get mono again and the Jets should have close to $80 million to play with his offseason, Gase and GM Joe Douglas could add some great players to the offense that fit in Gase’s scheme and give Darnold more weapons to work with for the 2020 season. The Jets leaned heavily on short passes in 2019 and will likely do so again with Jamison Crowder and Le’Veon Bell (for now) still on the team. Those two accounted for 200 of the 521 passing attempts in 2019 and should be in line for even more work if Darnold stays healthy. 

There are some solid possible players in free agency for Gase and Douglas to target that fit that offense, though. Here are five of the top options for the Jets and Gase’s scheme.

 

WR Emmanuel Sanders

Sanders will be 33 in March but would still thrive in Gase’s offense. He’s one of the best tacticians anywhere he lines up on the field and rarely drops passes. When Gase coached Sanders on the Broncos in 2014, Sanders finished the season with 101 receptions on 141 targets for 1,404 yards and nine touchdowns, all career-highs.Those days are long gone for Sanders, but he still proved to be one of the 25 most valuable wide receivers in 2019. He caught 66 balls for 869 yards and five touchdowns for two teams in and only dropped one pass. The Jets had the seventh-highest drop rate in the NFL and could use a player with hands like Sanders.Despite his age, Sanders fits the bill as the quintessential Gase player because he thrives out wide and in the slot. He’d be a great veteran leader for the Jets offense and would likely come cheaper than a lot of the other riskier wide receivers on the market.

 

WR Randall Cobb

Cobb isn’t as productive, consistent or good a receiver as Sanders, but he’d play well in Gase’s offense for a lot of the same reasons. Cobb finished fourth in receiving yards from the slot in 2019 with 716 and averaged 14.3 yards per reception from that position. While Cobb is older – he’ll be 30 in August – he has a better big-play ability than Jamison Crowder. Cobb led all slot receivers with 22 plays of 15-plus yards in 2019 and can penetrate zone defenses better than a lot of pass-catchers. Cobb isn’t as good as he once was with the Packers, but his style of play could be productive with Gase.

 

RB Corey Clement

The hero of Super Bowl LII could be a diamond in the rough for the Jets as a situational backup running back at only 25 years old. Clement only touched the ball four times in 2019 – all on special teams – after falling behind the likes of Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard, Darren Sproles and Boston Scott in Philadelphia, but he is young enough to still bring production to the field.Douglas brought Clement to the Eagles as an undrafted free agent in 2017. There, he scored six touchdowns on only 84 total touches. Clement would be a great compliment to Le’Veon Bell in the backfield and could fill the void left by Bilal Powell and Ty Montgomery should the Jets let either walk in free agency. 

RB DeAndre Washington

Washington is another young dual-threat player who would be a great backup running back for the Jets. Washington only tallied 679 yards on 144 touches but spread it pretty evenly between rushes and receptions. He caught 36 passes for 292 yards in 2019, including 10 for first downs, rushed 108 times – 23 for first downs – for 387 yards and three touchdowns.His role would ideally be as a situational pass-catcher for the Jets. Washington averaged 8.1 yards per reception this past season, which ranked 12th among running backs and ahead of players like Bell, Ezekiel Elliott and Nick Chubb. He’d be a dart throw for sure but a pretty low-risk one at only 27 years old.

 

WR Taylor Gabriel

Gabriel is an explosive receiver who can still run over the top of defenses and would be a nice addition to the Jets in the role likely vacated by Robby Anderson. The Jets will need speed and big-play ability if they let Anderson go, and Gabriel fits that bill perfectly for Gase. Eight of his 14 career touchdowns have come on plays of at least 30 yards and he remains one of the fastest players in the league. The biggest knock against Gabriel is his size and concussion history. He’s listed at 5-foot-7,168 pounds and missed time in 2019 with concussions. He’s also prone to disappear in games and hasn’t proven to be a consistent receiver yet. Gabriel would be another situational pass-catcher but someone who could perform well in Gase’s offense.

https://jetswire.usatoday.com/2020/02/25/2020-nfl-free-agency-jets-targets-who-fit-adam-gase-offense-emmaneul-sanders-randall-cobb/

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The NY Jets are reportedly eyeing veteran offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski in free agency if the Kansas City Chiefs don’t re-sign him.

The NY Jets are expected to explore the free-agent market this offseason when it comes to the offensive line position. One unheralded player who could reportedly be a target of the Jets is veteran Stefen Wisniewski.

Some of the more notable names on the market are expected to be Brandon Scherff, Joe Thuney, Jack Conklin, and Graham Glasgow. But Wisniewski could prove to be a cheaper, valuable asset as well.And if recent reports are to be believed, the Jets seem to have shown interest in acquiring the nine-year veteran.FanSided’s Matt Verderame reported on Wednesday that the Kansas City Chiefs are interested in re-signing Wisniewski this offseason. However, if he were to hit the open market, Verderame said that the Jets would be a “potential suitor.”This makes sense as the Jets showed interest in Wisniewski last offseason and he previously played for the Philadelphia Eagles from 2016 to 2018 while Joe Douglas worked with the organization.

There is a sense of familiarity between the two and a reunion is certainly possible.

Wisniewski was signed by the Chiefs in October of last year after going unsigned throughout the offseason. He would play in 11 games for the team starting the final two weeks of the regular season after an injury to Andrew Wylie.In fact, Wisniewski would remain a starter throughout the postseason starting each game at left guard helping the Chiefs reach Super Bowl glory. While he didn’t start a full season, he earned a very respectable 68.2 Pro Football Focus grade for his efforts.The Jets are in desperate need of offensive line help and they’re expected to be very active in free agency. That said, Wisniewski likely isn’t most people’s ideal target.

The former second-round pick will be 31-years-old in March and has started only nine games over the past two seasons. In fact, he hasn’t been a full-time starter since the 2015 season when he was still with the then Oakland Raiders.If the Jets were to bring Wisniewski in, the hope would be that he could serve as an excellent veteran depth piece on what could be a young offensive line. Perhaps he could compete for a starting job in the preseason — but he certainly shouldn’t be handed one.

Wisniewski isn’t the answer, but he could be a valuable addition nonetheless.

Signing Wisniewski would give the team one of the more experienced and talented backup interior offensive linemen in the NFL. As long as the Jets don’t rely on him as a starter, there’s nothing wrong with signing Wisniewski.Much of the attention will be on more high-profile players in free agency, but Stefen Wisniewski is one name to keep an eye on.

https://thejetpress.com/2020/02/27/ny-jets-eyeing-stefen-wisniewski-free-agency/

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NY Jets: Byron Jones should be a top priority in free agency

The NY Jets should be given the opportunity to land Byron Jones in free agency with the report that the Dallas Cowboys are expected to let him hit the open market.

The NY Jets will go into this offseason looking to make major splashes in both the 2020 NFL Draft and free agency. And one free agent they should have the opportunity to target this March is cornerback Byron Jones.Jones has been among the best cornerbacks in the NFL for the past few years and despite lackluster interception numbers, he has a very favorable reputation as a shutdown man-cover corner.

Fortunately, for the rest of the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys might not be able to keep him around for much longer.

Dallas is in a bit of a cap bind with players such as Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper set to hit free agency this offseason on top of Jones. And it seems as though the Cowboys are prepared to prioritize their two offensive stars over their shutdown cornerback.NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Friday that the Cowboys are expected to place the franchise tag on Prescott and try to work out a long-term extension with Cooper.

As a result, Rapoport insists that Dallas is expected to let Jones test free agency.

Jones has just two interceptions over his five-year career, but the former UConn star has been one of the best defensive backs in the NFL since switching over to cornerback full-time in 2018.In 2019, Jones surrendered just 5.1 yards per target which ranked second among all cornerbacks. Pro Football Focus named Jones the sixth-highest graded cornerback in 2018 and his 76.1 grade in 2019 was still among the better corners in the NFL.

He’s one of the best in the league — and he expects to be paid as such.

Reports are that he and Carolina Panthers cornerback James Bradberry are expected to “reset the cornerback market” this offseason with the two aiming for $15 million or more per season.That’s a large sum of money, but Jones plays one of the most valuable positions in the NFL and that position just so happens to be a major need for the Jets.Gang Green will look to re-sign Brian Poole in free agency, but even if they do, the team doesn’t really have an answer for their two boundary cornerback roles.Blessuan Austin impressed in his rookie season but his injury history and small sample size make it difficult to count on him as a starter in 2020. And there isn’t anyone else on the roster even worthy of consideration.

Of course, Jets fans will be snakebitten because of the horrendous Trumaine Johnson contract given out just a few years ago. Johnson is expected to be released this offseason, but the Jets will still be paying dearly for their mistake over the coming years.

But Jones is different.

He’s still only 27-years-old and is, in many ways, the opposite of everything Johnson was. Johnson made the splashy plays and racked up interceptions while Jones shuts down his half of the field and earns high praise from advanced analytics experts.Johnson was all flash. Jones is all substance.Jones would be the perfect free-agent splash for the Jets to make and now that it appears that he’ll be available, there’s no reason not to make him one of their top targets.

If the Jets were smart, they’d bring Byron Jones to East Rutherford.

>      https://thejetpress.com/2020/02/29/ny-jets-3-players-primed-huge-leap-2020/

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The NY Jets have a number of in-house free agents set to the open market this offseason and one of which will be running back Ty Montgomery.

The NY Jets offense somehow took a major step back in 2020 behind a porous offensive line and an overwhelmed head coach in Adam Gase. And one of the biggest sufferers of the offense’s lack of identity was Ty Montgomery.

Montgomery was signed by the Jets in April with hopes that he could be a jack-of-all-trades offensive weapon to help out quarterback Sam Darnold. But by Week 3, he had nearly been fazed out of the offense altogether.The converted wide receiver shined in training camp and the preseason and was the clear-cut backup running back behind Le’Veon Bell. Montgomery was being used in a variety of two-back sets and it seemed as though the Jets had big plans for their free-agent addition.

But the regular season provided different fortunes.

Montgomery wasn’t used much in Week 1 but responded in a big way by playing 38 percent of the team’s offensive snaps in Week 2. He would rush three times for 25 yards and haul in three catches for an additional 15 yards.This was the Montgomery that Jets fans expected to see. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t see much more of that version.Montgomery would go on to play 15 percent of offensive snaps or less in 10 of 16 games touching the ball just 45 times all year. He was usurped on the depth chart by veteran Bilal Powell who assumed the No. 2 running back role before long.

Now a free agent again, will the Jets look to bring back Montgomery ?

Should the Jets re-sign him?

If used correctly, Ty Montgomery could be a dangerous offensive weapon. He has great hands for a running back, is a very capable blocker, and could be used effectively while running outside the tackles.

However, the Jets wholly ignored his skill set in 2019.

Be it a product of their offensive scheme or simply Gase preferring Powell over him, Montgomery was left on the sidelines more often than not last season. That’s especially confusing considering how high the team seemed on him going into the year.Montgomery could be a very effective part of the offense. But if last year was any indication, it doesn’t appear that he will be given the opportunity to do so with the Jets.Unless the team was to completely change the way they anticipate using him in 2020, it makes little sense for the Jets to re-sign him.

Will the Jets re-sign him?

The Jets seemed to have big plans for Montgomery going into the season, but for one reason or another, those plans fell by the wayside.Now, Montgomery was still a very effective special-teamer and he did return 18 kicks for 364 yards last season. However, that only resulted in an underwhelming average of 20.2 yards per return — the lowest of his career to this point.It seems highly unlikely that the Jets will look to re-sign Montgomery in the offseason given the fact that he was used less and less as the year went on. Again, he could still be an effective role player for an NFL offense.

But don’t expect that to be for the Jets in 2020.Montgomery came to the Jets with plenty of potential, but hopefully another organization could capitalize on his unique skill set next season.

Odds of re-signing: 12%

>    https://thejetpress.com/2020/02/29/ny-jets-re-sign-decline-ty-montgomery/

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 -- Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said tight end Austin Hooper, linebacker De'Vondre Campbell and offensive lineman Wes Schweitzer will hit the open market as unrestricted free agents, but he didn't rule out re-signing any of them.

"We've talked to them, we've had discussions, and after all is said and done, we're going to let them get to the market to find out where they are in the market,'' Dimitroff said Tuesday at the NFL combine. "That's a really important piece for both parties.

"Of course, we want them back. We'll continue to negotiate with those players, but it's imperative that we see what the market holds for them. That will gauge how we approach it. As you know, we have a salary-cap situation that we're monitoring closely. And that's important for us to know exactly where we feel the market is before we make any very solid offers and discussions as far as making agreements on compensation.''Hooper had a career-best 75 catches for 787 yards and six touchdowns last season despite missing three games with an MCL sprain. Dimitroff said the franchise tag -- which is projected to be around $10.7 million for tight ends -- remains an option with Hooper.

Hooper, Campbell and Schweitzer would become free agents March 18. Their agents can enter negotiations with other teams beginning March 16.If Hooper signs elsewhere, the Falcons might have to consider drafting a tight end. Undrafted Jaeden Graham filled in nicely for Hooper last season, but he remains relatively unproven.Campbell was the team's leading tackler last season and a player known for covering tight ends. Third-year player Foye Oluokun may play a larger role if Campbell departs in free agency.Schweitzer, who plays guard and center, has 36 career starts over four seasons. The Falcons are likely to address the guard position in free agency or the draft regardless of Schweitzer's status.

In other news, the Falcons appear unlikely to pick up the fifth-year option of defensive end Takk McKinley, who is recovering from shoulder surgery. McKinley, the 26th overall pick in the 2017 draft, will enter his fourth season with 16.5 career sacks.

>       https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/28780303/falcons-let-te-austin-hooper-others-test-free-agency

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Rich Cimini    ESPN Staff Writer 

Jets S Jamal Adams revealed his free-agent wish list Sunday while serving as an NFL Network guest analyst at the combine. He mentioned three names, all edge rushers — Jadeveon Clowney, Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue. Fowler is the most realistic of the three. Clowney could cost $20M per year and Ngakoue could get the franchise tag.

>      https://www.espn.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyj/new-york-jets

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The NY Jets are expected to overhaul much of their roster in the offseason, but ESPN’s Todd McShay doesn’t expect the team to spend wildly in free agency.

NY Jets general manager Joe Douglas will enter his first full offseason with his new team with plans to upgrade what was a pretty underwhelming roster in 2019.Through free agency and the 2020 NFL Draft, the hope is that Douglas will be able to provide the Jets with a number of short-term and long-term building blocks to allow the team to take its next step towards playoff contention once again.With around $70 million in cap space projected after a few cuts, the Jets should have plenty of resources to make things happen in free agency. However, one analyst and former college teammate of Douglas doesn’t expect the Jets to be major players on the open market.

ESPN’s Todd McShay has known Joe Douglas for quite some time as the two attended the University of Richmond together and remain good friends to this day. So when McShay talks about Douglas, it’s best Jets fans listen up.The longtime draft analyst spoke with ESPN’s Rich Cimini about Douglas and the Jets plans this offseason and he insisted that he “doesn’t expect wild spending [by the Jets] in NFL free agency.”

He made note of Douglas’ background with Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and how they tend to hunt more for the bargain than hand out a ton of money in free agency.

“I wouldn’t guess that they’re going to go out and spend a ton of money. “But if they do spend, it’s going to be on guys who are a little underrated and can provide some versatility and some veteran leadership, and probably some special teams help.”

Now,of course,this doesn’t mean that the Jets aren’t going to target big names like Jack Conklin, Byron Jones and Joe Thuney.But it is a little insight into Douglas’ background and how the systems he was brought up in tend to operate.

However, Douglas will be calling all of the shots for the first time in his career. He doesn’t have to abide by previous regimes’ strategies — he could forge his own path.Based on things that he has said, it seems likely that the offensive line will remain a top priority and that could include spending some big money on free agents. Maybe it’s not a Conklin or a Thuney, but a Graham Glasgow or a Connor McGovern.We still have a little over two weeks before free agency officially arrives. But Jets fans have high expectations for Douglas’ first offseason with the team.

Whatever strategy he opts to employ better set the team in the right direction.

>    https://thejetpress.com/2020/03/01/ny-jets-todd-mcshay-expect-spend-wildly-free-agency/

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The NY Jets have made their intentions clear as they plan to do everything they can to upgrade the offensive line in the offseason. The free agency period will be key to doing so and one player who will undoubtedly be on their radar is offensive tackle Jack Conklin.Conklin has spent the last four seasons anchoring the right side of the Tennessee Titans’ offensive line and now he’s set to hit free agency. And if recent reports are to be believed, he could be heading to East Rutherford.On Sunday, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported that at least “one NFL team has been informed that Conklin plans to sign with the Jets when free agency opens on March 18th.”

He then reiterates that it is just a report, not a contractual agreement. It is worth noting that the legal tampering period doesn’t begin until March 16th meaning that reports of actual signings won’t start to be leaked until then.But if true, this would be the massive free-agent splash that the Jets are in need of.Conklin is widely regarded as one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL and at just 25-years-old, he may be the most prized non-quarterback on the market.The Michigan State product was originally selected eighth overall in the 2016 NFL Draft by the Titans and he went on to have an absolutely phenomenal rookie season earning All-Pro honors at just 22-years-old.

Not Pro Bowl, All-Pro. There’s a big difference.

And while he hasn’t quite reached that same level of play, he’s consistently been ranked among the top 10-15 offensive tackles in football over his subsequent three seasons.Just this past year, Conklin earned a very solid Pro Football Focus grade of 78.0 which was one of the best at his position. More notably, however, is the discrepancy between his run-blocking and pass-blocking grades.Conklin hosts a career 94.5 run-blocking grade per PFF which is elite for the position. However, his pass-blocking grade is well below-average at just 53.4. That is a figure that should be concerning, but given his age and stout run-blocking, you could argue that he more than makes up for it.

The four-year pro will cost the Jets quite a large chunk of money, however. Spotrac currently projects his market value at $15 million per season which would give him the fifth-highest average annual value in the NFL.That said, expect that figure to rise and perhaps compete with Philadelphia’s Lane Johnson for the highest average salary among offensive linemen at near $18 million per season.

That’s the price you have to pay for an incredibly young, top-tier free agent playing a premier position.

This isn’t a situation that arises often. The Titans are in quite the cap bind and are already paying fellow standout offensive tackle Taylor Lewan $16 million per season. They couldn’t afford to pay Conklin which is why they declined his fifth-year option in the first place.It’s not every year that a player as valuable as Jack Conklin hits the open market. And if early reports are to be believed, the Jets could be on the verge of making perhaps the biggest splash of free agency.

>   https://thejetpress.com/2020/03/01/ny-jets-jack-conklin-planning-sign/

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The adding season is only a couple of weeks away. While the Jets can continue to negotiate with any of their current players with expiring contracts, the NFL Free agency period will commence March 18. OvertheCap.com projects the Green & White have approximately $50 million in cap space, but that number can grow if the club makes additional cost-cutting moves. After re-signing veteran TE Daniel Brown, the Jets have 21 unrestricted free agents."We have a lot of guys that are UFAs and RFAs, 20-plus guys, but I do think there is a strong core here of young guys, guys that can be the foundation of a lot of success moving forward," said GM Joe Douglas at his season-ending news conference. "Right now, I feel good about a lot of these young guys and their growth and their arrows pointing up, so we have to keep adding to the culture. We have to keep adding to the locker room, to the building."

Before the market opens, here is the list of the Jets' 21 unrestricted free agents:

WR Robby Anderson: Last December, Anderson became the NFL's ? fifth undrafted free agent since 1970 to reach 3,000 receiving yards in his first four seasons. The 6'3", 190-pounder, who finished second on the Jets last season with 779 receiving yards and 5 TDs while averaging a team-high 15.0 yards a reception, has not yet had a 1,000-yard campaign. If Amari Cooper stays in Dallas, the 26-year-old Anderson arguably could be the most coveted young, talented wideout in this class.

T Kelvin Beachum: The 30-year-old Beachum believes 2019 was his best individual season. Over the course of eight professional seasons, the 6'3", 308-pound Beachum has made 99 career starts. He is a respected veteran who was named a team captain in 2019 for the first time in his NFL career. Beachum has the ability to play both tackle spots and it will be interesting to see how Douglas goes about reshaping his offensive line this spring.

CB Maurice Canady: Claimed off of waivers from Baltimore in November, Canady appeared in eight games for the Jets and finished with 19 defensive tackles and 3 special teams stops. The 25-year-old, a Virginia product who was a sixth-round pick of Baltimore in 2016, has played in 32 career contests.

G Tom Compton: After he joined the Green & White last March, the 6'6", 315-pound Compton initially was slated for a reserve role. But he moved into the starting lineup at RG in Weeks 11-15 after veteran Brian Winters, the only Jet lineman to start all of the team's first nine games, went to injured reserve following a shoulder redislocation.

OLB Brandon Copeland: A 10-game starter in 2018, Copeland was suspended for the first four games of the 2019 season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances. In a reserve defensive role, the fifth-year veteran finished with 39 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Copeland also had 8 special teams stops.

P Lachlan Edwards: Edwards set the franchise net punting average record for the third straight season (40.5 to 40.8 to 41.6) and had the second-best inside-20-to-touchback ratio in franchise history, 9.3-to-1. The Jets signed Ian Berryman, Western Carolina's all-time leading punter, to a reserve/future contract in January.

QB David Fales: The well-traveled Fales, who has played under Adam Gase in Chicago, Miami and New York, spent the majority of last season as Sam Darnold's backup.

ILB Neville Hewitt: Thrust into a prominent role following injuries to starting Mike linebacker C.J. Mosley and athletic rookie Blake Cashman, Hewitt thrived under Gregg Williams. On the league's No. 7 defense, Hewitt ranked third with 78 tackles. He also added 3 sacks and 2 interceptions.

OLB Jordan Jenkins: Quietly, Jenkins racked up 15 sacks in 2018-19. He is a fierce competitor who has started 50 games since being selected in the third round out of Georgia in 2016. The physical Jenkins oftentimes sets the edge for a run defense that finished No. 2 overall (86.9 Yds/G).

C Ryan Kalil: The former Pro Bowler signed with the Jets Aug. 2 and started seven games before injuring his knee and finishing on injured reserve.

G Alex Lewis: Instead of playing a game of chance on waivers, the Jets shipped a seventh-round pick to the Ravens in August to obtain Lewis. Penciled in as a backup before the season began, the 6'6", 305-pounder ended up starting a career-high 12 contests.

ILB Albert McClellan: The 33-year-old McClellan appeared in five games for the Jets and tallied 5 defensive tackles and 5 special teams stops before suffering a concussion against the Cowboys in Week 6.

S Rontez Miles: A two-time All-American at Division II California (PA), Miles went undrafted in 2013 and then bounced around the Jets' practice squad and roster for a couple of years before becoming a lineup fixture. He was named a team captain prior to the 2019 campaign and had a team-leading 7 stops on special teams before neck and hip ailments forced him to injured reserve in November.

RB Ty Montgomery: Playing a reserve role in the backfield, Montgomery averaged 3.2 yards a carry and chipped in with 13 receptions. The veteran also had a team-high 18 kickoff returns, yielding 20.2 yards an attempt. 

CB Brian Poole: A perfect fit in Gregg Williams' scheme, Poole thrived in his first year with the Green & White. He tied for fifth on the defense in tackles (62) and added 4 TFL, 6 PDs, 5 QB hits and 1 FR. After recording his first career safety in Week 1 vs. the Bills, Poole had his first career pick-six against the Raiders in Week 12.

RB Bilal Powell: The longest-tenured Jet led the backs with 3.9 yards per attempt and chipped in with 7 receptions. His 3,675 rush yards rank 8th on the Jets' all-time list.

T Brent Qvale: A fifth-year veteran, Qvale began the year on injured reserve due to a knee injury sustained in training camp. He was activated in December and appeared in three games down the stretch, starting the team's season finale against the Bills. In five seasons with the Green & White, Qvale played in 63 contests.

T Brandon Shell: The South Carolina product, a fifth-round pick of the Jets in 2016, made 40 starts from 2016-19 with the majority of his action taking place on the right side. Six of the Jets' 11 different OL starters can become unrestricted free agents.

QB Trevor Siemian: Following Sam Darnold's mono diagnosis, Siemian became the Jets' Week 2 starter. Unfortunately, the backup signal-caller's season lasted all of six passes before it came to an end when Browns rusher Myles Garrett hit him late and he suffered torn ligaments in his ankle.

WR Demaryius Thomas: Just 237 receiving yards shy of 10,000 for his career, Thomas came to the Jets following an unlikely swap with the Patriots in September. The four-time Pro Bowler became a team captain by November and turned 32 on Christmas.

OLB Paul Worrilow: After contemplating retirement, Worrilow joined New York's AFC representative in November. The seventh-year veteran was active in four games and did not record a statistic.

>    https://www.newyorkjets.com/news/jets-free-agency-21-ufas-include-wr-robby-anderson-cb-brian-poole

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Cornerback James Bradberry made it clear at the end of the 2019 season that he is looking for a big payday this offseason and it looks like his chances of landing it are going to be pretty good.It also looks like he’ll be landing that deal with a team other than the Panthers. The Panthers could use a $16 million-plus franchise tag on Bradberry, but TheAthletic.com reports that the team isn’t going to move in that direction and also won’t hit Bradberry’s asking price for a multi-year deal.

Per a report from Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com, that asking price is believed to be in the neighborhood of $15 million and it appears there are a lot of teams willing to shop at that end of the market.Connor Hughes of TheAthletic.com reports the Jets were one of 22 teams to check in on Bradberry and his colleague Rhiannon Walker put Washington in that group as well.Washington’s new head coach Ron Rivera coached Bradberry in Carolina and Bradberry said last month that he’d be happy to be reunite with his former coach.

>    https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2020/03/02/james-bradberry-drawing-interest-ahead-of-free-agency/

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With the Jets in desperate need of cornerbacks, they’re looking at the cream of the crop of the free agent market.

According to Denver 7’s Troy Renck, the Jets are showing interest in Broncos free agent Chris Harris Jr. However, they do have company with the Cowboys, Raiders, Lions and Texans expressing interest in the former All-Pro.Additionally, according to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano the Jets are interested in Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones. Jones is seeking at least $15 million per year, but the Jets are not expected to land him. The Eagles are seen as the favorite to sign Jones.Harris is on the back end of his career at age 30, going on 31. He didn’t have one of his better seasons in 2019 with 44 total tackles, six pass breakups and one interception. However, Harris is still one of the most established corners in the league. He would come a little cheaper than Jones, as he made $12 million from Denver last season.

As for Jones, he’s three years younger than Harris at age 27. In 2019, Jones had 37 total tackles, six pass breakups and one forced fumble.At this point in their careers, Jones would be the better option than Harris, but he also comes at a steeper price. The Jets haven’t fared well in recent years handing out hefty contracts to free agent cornerbacks. They gave Trumaine Johnson a five-year, $72.5 million deal in 2018. He’s expected to be cut this offseason. In 2015, the Jets signed Darrelle Revis to a five-year, $70 million deal. Revis lasted two seasons.

The Jets are going to have the cap space to sign a premier free agent cornerback, but they might be reluctant to pay a lot of money for one given their other needs. New York would like to come away with at least one offensive lineman in free agency as well as a receiver and possibly an edge rusher.

>    https://jetswire.usatoday.com/2020/03/04/2020-nfl-free-agency-jets-interested-chris-harris-jr-byron-jones/

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The most underrated free agents

With the likes of Tom Brady and Philip Rivers dominating headlines, there are some players hitting the market who are flying under the radar. The "Good Morning Football" crew highlights three names to keep an eye on.

video..

>    http://www.nfl.com/videos/good-morning-football/0ap3000001105283/GMFB-reviews-the-most-underrated-free-agents

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Free agency – much like the draft – is a crapshoot.

You can scout players all you want, but there’s no telling if they’ll ever live up to the contracts they receive when they hit the open market. For the most part, teams will overpay to land a player who outperformed his contract the year before, only to watch him crash and burn the following season. The Jets experience this on an almost yearly basis and Joe Douglas can’t let it happen again.

The big names will always command the most money, but there are plenty of diamonds in the rough that can stand out and contribute for less. No one wanted to give Brian Poole a big deal in 2019 and he ended up being the best slot corner in the NFL for the Jets. Douglas needs to find those players if he wants to fill all the holes on his roster.

With that in minf, here are four under the radar free agents for the Jets to target.

 

WR Breshad Perriman

The Jets are in the market to upgrade their wide receiving corp and Perriman would be a cheap solution if they can’t keep Robby Anderson. Perriman enjoyed a late-season resurgence with the Buccaneers after three years of holding the bust moniker and actually looked like he could become a viable wide receiver in the league. He led the NFL with an average depth of target of 18.8 yards and only dropped one of his 65 targets.Perriman is roughly the same height as Anderson but a little bigger-bodied and could provide a dual ability as a speedster and red zone target for Sam Darnold and the Jets. He’d also command significantly less money than a lot of the other receivers on the market. If the Jets want to save their money or pool their resources for a different player, signing Perriman could help them in a lot of different ways. 

DE Vinny Curry

Curry is a perfect blend of skill and price for the Jets. Not only does Curry have the Eagles connection with Douglas, but he’s also coming off his best season since 2014. Curry tallied five sacks, 27 total tackles and 12 quarterbacks hits in 2019 as a rotational edge rusher and his 16.8 pressure rate tied for fifth among edge rushers with at least 200 pass-rushing snaps.It wouldn’t take much for Douglas and the Jets to land Curry despite the 31-year-old’s desire to return to Philadelphia. Gregg Williams could use a player of Curry’s skillset on defense and the cost to bring him in would allow Douglas to spend more on other positions of need.

 

OL Stefen Wisniewski

This would be very similar to the Alex Lewis trade last offseason. Wisniewski is another former Douglas player – having spent three seasons with the Eagles from 2016-2018 – and would be a solid depth player for the Jets to use at multiple positions along the offensive line.The Jets should stockpile offensive linemen – both in free agency and the draft – after a season that saw them turn over linemen weekly. Wisniewski may not be a starting-caliber player, but he is a quality blocker who could step in a pinch at a relatively cheap price.

 

RB Chris Thompson

Le’Veon Bell is the Jets bell cow, but they need a reliable pass-catching option to spell Bell’s usage. That’s where Thompson comes in. The veteran makes his hay as a pass-catching specialist out of the backfield and he’d be a tremendous complement to Bell.Thompson had at least 70 total touches over the past five seasons, including two 100-plus touch seasons from 2016-17. Injuries have plagued the 29-year-old over recently but he’s still playing at a high level when called upon.

https://jetswire.usatoday.com/2020/03/09/2020-nfl-free-agency-under-the-radar-players-jets-should-target/

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Burleson's top five free agents

Will Derrick Henry be back with the Titans next season? Does Dak Prescott get a long-term deal done in Dallas? Nate Burleson breaks down his top free agents who are heading to the open market this offseason.

video..

http://www.nfl.com/videos/good-morning-football/0ap3000001105409/Nate-Burleson-breaks-down-his-top-five-free-agents-this-offseason

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The NY Jets have been linked to some big-name free agents this offseason, but here are three overlooked players that could make some sense.

With over $50 million in cap room, the NY Jets have been linked to some big-name free agents. Rightfully so considering the team’s large array of needs to fill this offseason.Although the team would be better served getting the most bang for its buck by making every dollar count. We evaluated the free-agent market and came up with three names that are being overlooked that the Jets should seriously consider pursuing in 2020.

3. Jared Veldheer, offensive tackle

The NY Jets need a complete overhaul this offseason as it pertains to their offensive line. Gang Green has been tied to all the big names in free agency like Joe Thuney of the New England Patriots, Brandon Scherff of the Washington Redskins, and Jack Conklin of the Tennessee Titans, but what about an under the radar name?Jared Veldheer is a 32-year-old offensive tackle (will be 33 by the start of the 2020 season) and possesses great size at 6-foot-8, 322 pounds. This past year he came out of retirement to finish the season with the Green Bay Packers. For those curious, the reason he initially retired was due to a nagging hip injury.

He plans on continuing his career in 2020 and he’s set to be a free agent once the new league year begins. Veldheer was a key rotational player and is a viable starting right tackle in this league.Instead of paying Jack Conklin between $16 and $18 million a season on a long term deal, the Jets could pay a fraction of the price for a serviceable veteran starter. In addition to playing right tackle, he also has experience playing left tackle and even center. That could be invaluable for a team in desperate need for a pick me up.

2. Greg Zuerlein, kicker

Another area of need for the NY Jets is there special teams unit. Both the team’s kicker and punter are pending free agents and quite frankly the team could use an upgrade in both areas. Gang Green will have a bevy of potential replacements available during the free agency period although none bigger than Greg Zuerlein.He goes by a lot of different names although he’s most well known by Legatron.

Zuerlein has one of the biggest legs in the NFL and will be entering his ninth season in the pros in 2020. Greg’s longest field goal he’s ever converted is 61 yards. Although over the last three years his accuracy has exponentially decreased each season: 95 percent (2017), 87 percent (2018), 73 percent (2019).Don’t fret, much of that can be attributed to nagging injuries and he would prove to be an epic upgrade for the green and white.

1. Vontaze Burfict, outside linebacker

This would be a polarizing addition to the NY Jets without question. But it would bring an additional level of nasty to the green and white defense. But what is a good weapon without a warrior to utilize it?Vontaze Burfict would be a perfect fit under Gregg Williams and he would be able to maximize his talents. The Jets need edge rush help and Burfict can help in a number of areas whether that’s in pass coverage or being an enforcer across the middle.

Speaking of enforcing across the middle that’s how Burfict has gotten into some trouble over the last few years. As a matter of fact, his propensity for personal fouls dates back to his high school days.This mean streak has followed him from a series of personal fouls, failed drug tests, and last year he was suspended for the entire football season after a dirty hit in the Oakland Raiders vs Indianapolis Colts game where he smashed a downed receiver with a dirty cheap shot.

While there are obvious red flags that should warrant a deeper investigation, if he clears the thorough evaluation he should 100 percent be brought in. The talent is obvious and the team has a need.

>    https://thejetpress.com/2020/03/10/ny-jets-3-overlooked-free-agents-can-make-impact/3/

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The NY Jets have a number of high-profile players they’d love to sign in free agency. Let’s take a look at five offseason targets the Jets would love to sign.

The NY Jets are once again expected to be major players in free agency this offseason. After landing the likes of C.J. Mosley and Le’Veon Bell last year, the Jets are looking to make a few big splashes again this March.Of course, just because a team wants a player, doesn’t mean that they are going to be able to land them. Just look at the infamous Anthony Barr situation from last offseason — things don’t always work out as planned.Nonetheless, general manager Joe Douglas undoubtedly has his eyes on a number of top-tier free agents that he’d love to see the Jets sign.

This list isn’t going to be comprised of the lesser-known, under-the-radar guys the team could target. Instead, these are the best free agents on the market that the Jets have interest in and feasibly can sign.Obviously, there isn’t really a scenario in which all five of these players could be signed. But if the Jets could come away with at least two of them, then it will be a pretty successful free agency period for Gang Green.

With that, let’s take a look at the five players headlining the Jets’ free agency wish list.

5. Robby Anderson, WR

Yes, this is technically an internal free agent but Robby Anderson might as well already be on the open market.The Jets want Anderson back, that much has never been doubted. The speedy wideout has been the team’s most productive receiver over the last few seasons and remains their most explosive offensive playmaker.And with the Jets looking to upgrade at the receiver position in the offseason, it makes little sense to let their top option walk — especially given his age and chemistry with Sam Darnold.

Unfortunately, everything comes down to finances. It always does.

Anderson wants to be back with the Jets in 2020 — he made that clear with his recent comments. But with his market value expected to be higher than the Jets are willing to pay, a reunion seems unlikely.Reports are scattered regarding what Anderson is slated to make on the open market with some sources indicating as low as $10 million per year while others state it’s as high as $15 million per season.The answer likely lies somewhere in the middle, but even that might be higher than Joe Douglas wants to go.In a perfect world, Anderson would return to the Jets in 2020 and continue to build upon the chemistry he has with Darnold. But football has never been a perfect world, and it remains a longshot that Anderson re-signs.

Nonetheless, he’s certainly on the Jets’ wish list.

4. Graham Glasgow, OG/C

General manager Joe Douglas has made his priorities very clear this offseason — the Jets’ primary concern is the offensive line. And he’s prepared to spend big money in free agency to make some changes.Rumors have swirled that the Jets could be in on the Jack Conklin sweepstakes, but offensive tackle doesn’t seem to be their primary interest in free agency. Fortunately, there are a number of excellent interior options expected to be available this March.The top option will appear later in this list, but one player who has been heavily connected to the Jets in recent weeks is offensive guard/center Graham Glasgow.

Glasgow has spent the last four seasons with the Detroit Lions and the Michigan product has developed into one of the more unheralded interior offensive linemen in the NFL.He finished the 2019 season with a very solid 74.1 Pro Football Focus grade and didn’t allow a single sack in 15 starts. On top of that, the 27-year-old has remained incredibly durable missing just two of 64 possible games throughout his career.Even though he isn’t considered the top option on the market, don’t look at Glasgow as a fall-back option. Connor Hughes of The Athletic even mentioned the possibility of the Jets targeting both Glasgow and another top interior lineman in free agency while doubling down on the Jets’ interest in both.

Glasgow may have flown under the radar a bit to this point in his career, but expect the versatile lineman to cash in big time in free agency.The Jets will be hoping that he does so with them.

3. Dante Fowler, EDGE

It’s no secret that the Jets will be looking to upgrade their offense more than their defense. But with glaring holes at important positions, they certainly won’t ignore the defensive side of the ball.

The two primary areas of concern are at edge rusher and cornerback. In this instance, we’ll look at who their top edge rusher target will be.The upcoming edge rusher class initially looked incredibly strong, but some of the top names on the market — players like Yannick Ngakoue, Shaquil Barrett, and Matthew Judon — are expected to be franchise tagged.Still, the likes of Jadeveon Clowney and Dante Fowler are also likely to get paid. In the case of the Jets, they’re much more likely to be interested in the latter.Reports of the Jets’ interest in Fowler have dated back a few years now and the rumblings have begun to grow again. Numerous sources have backed up the claim that the Jets will target former No. 3 overall pick this offseason.

Fowler is fresh off a breakout 11.5-sack season with the Los Angeles Rams and at just 25-years-old, he’s expected to have a sizable market. The Rams want to keep him, but their terrible cap situation will likely prevent that from happening.Expect the Jets to make Fowler a top priority if they could manage to stay in the market. But with the former Florida star expected to command $15 million per season, it won’t be easy.

Regardless, he remains near the top of their offseason wish list.

2. James Bradberry, CB

Aside from edge rusher, the Jets will also be eyeing the cornerback market in free agency as they look to revamp their current cornerback group. And one player they continue to be associated with is James Bradberry.Bradberry is joined by the likes of Byron Jones and Chris Harris Jr. in what is a very top-heavy crop of free-agent cornerbacks. Jones and Bradberry, in particular, are expected to “reset the cornerback market.Bradberry is reportedly looking for at least $15 million per season while Jones might command slightly more. While Jones remains the more proven commodity, the Jets’ interest seems to lie primarily in Bradberry.

The 2016 second-round pick has spent the last four seasons as a starter on the outside for the Carolina Panthers. And while he’s a solid, young cornerback hitting the open market, he likely isn’t a player worth paying $15 million a season for.Bradberry has amazingly never earned a Pro Football Focus grade north of 70.0 with his worst coming this past season when he was given a very poor 60.9 grade. That’s close to what Darryl Roberts was graded last year.Jones will be paid more but the former Dallas Cowboys star has at least played well enough to justify it.

Still, the Jets seem intent on making Bradberry a top target. For better or worse, he’s definitely a player the Jets want to land this offseason.

1. Joe Thuney, OG

This is that top interior offensive lineman that was alluded to earlier. Joe Thuney is about as can’t-miss as you can get out of a free agent.

He’s still relatively young at just 27-years-old, has played in and started every single game over his four-year NFL career, and has done so at an incredibly high level.Just this past season, Thuney put together the best 16-game stretch of his career earning Second-Team All-Pro honors and finishing with an excellent Pro Football Focus grade of 77.4.

All of that despite playing on a significantly worse New England Patriots offensive line than in recent years.Thuney is arguably the top offensive lineman on the free-agent market this offseason and he’s going to get paid as such — but the Jets still should be all-in. After all, it’s not often you find a player as young and talented as him hit the open market with seemingly no red flags.As expected, rumors seem to indicate that Thuney is at the very top of the Jets’ free agency priorities with Connor Hughes of The Athletic backing up that claim earlier on Tuesday.

The Jets won’t be alone with as many as 15-20 teams likely to be interested in the former NC State standout. But there is no free agent that will be coveted by Joe Douglas more than Thuney.And if the Jets could have it their way, they’d steal Thuney from their arch-rivals and watch him play in green and white for the next five years.

>     https://thejetpress.com/2020/03/11/ny-jets-5-free-agents-offseason-wish-list/6/

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With the NFL’s legal tampering period set to begin next week, the NY Jets will soon begin to target some of the top available offensive linemen.

It’s no secret that the NY Jets will be looking to rebuild the team’s offensive line this season.

After all, the unit, which was depleted by injuries and far below average in terms of performance in 2019, hasn’t been able to consistently protect quarterback Sam Darnold, which is of the utmost importance moving forward.As far as how the Jets will go about accomplishing this task,both free agency and the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft will be considered.And with the new league year set to begin next Wednesday, the team has already begun to hone in on some potential options in free agency, per The Athletic’s Connor Hughes.

Joe Thuney & Graham Glasgow are obviously atop the #Jets wishlist once the legal tampering period begins Monday. Another name I’d keep an eye on: Carolina’s Greg Van Roten.Jets have done their homework on him, I’m told. Makes sense, too. He’s likely in that $8-$10m APY range.

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Starting off with Joe Thuney, the former third-round pick out of NC State has spent his entire career with the New England Patriots.Playing guard, the 27-year-old is still relatively young and is incredibly reliable and consistent up front. He’s started 16 games in each of the last four years and last season, he allowed 16 total pressures and only one sack in 620 pass-blocking snaps.Graham Glasgow, another former third-round pick who played his collegiate ball at Michigan, is also just 27 years of age, meaning he likely has quite a few strong years left in him as well.While Thuney may be a bit more gifted, the Jets don’t just need one guard and Glasgow is quite versatile, as he’s able to play both the guard and center positions.

In addition, the former Lions lineman is just as reliable and consistent, missing just two games over the last four years and finishing the 2019 season with zero sacks allowed, five quarterback hits, and 20 quarterback hurries.He seems to be on an upward trajectory and would certainly be an improvement over what the Jets currently have.The last player mentioned by Hughes that may be of interest to the Jets, Greg Van Roten, is a bit older than the previous two options at 30-years-old, but he’s developed nicely into a starting-caliber guard during his time with the Panthers.Van Roten has dealt with some injuries in the past, but he started 16 games in 2018 and 11 in 2019, finishing last season only allowing 17 quarterback pressures, one sack, three hits, and 13 hurries.

Should the Jets come up short on Thuney, Glasgow, or both, Van Roten could prove to be an upgrade for the team at the right price.As previously mentioned, the 2020 NFL Draft could also be a place the green and white look for offensive linemen, as this year’s class is stacked at the top with talented players up front.How free agency turns out for the team, however, will likely determine the route they go in the draft.For example, if the Jets come out of free agency signing multiple linemen, the team could look to turn its attention towards wide receivers Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb in the draft in order to fill another void.

Or, the team could look to continue to bolster its unit up front by hoping one of the draft’s top lineman such as Jedrick Wills, Tristan Wirfs, Andrew Thomas or Mekhi Becton fall to the team at No. 11.Either way, one thing is clear and that is that the Jets must improve the offensive line. There are no if, and or buts. It must be done.And that task will begin next week when free agency begins.

>   https://thejetpress.com/2020/03/11/ny-jets-reportedly-targeting-offesive-linemen-free-agency/

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The NY Jets will be looking to make a big splash or two in free agency this offseason, but one player they should steer clear of is James Bradberry.

The NY Jets are expected to be major players in free agency this year with multiple top names reportedly on their radar. But one prominent player the team should stay away from is cornerback James Bradberry.The cornerback market is expected to be top-heavy this year with Bradberry and Byron Jones headlining the class. Given the age of both, the duo is expected to “reset the cornerback market” with record-breaking deals.

For Jones, that makes sense.

The former UConn star has developed into one of the very best cornerbacks in the NFL after making the full-time switch from safety. Despite a lack of interceptions, Jones consistently grades out well with Pro Football Focus and is widely regarded as a shutdown, No. 1 cornerback.Given that he’s only 27-years-old, a hefty contract seems certain.Bradberry, on the other hand, hasn’t exactly backed up his projected deal nearly as much as Jones. Despite this, the Jets reportedly remain very interested in the former Samford star.

The 2016 second-round pick has spent his first four seasons with the Carolina Panthers and has started 60 games during that time. Bradberry is just 26-years-old and has been Carolina’s No. 1 cornerback for the past couple of seasons.As such, he’s expected to get paid handsomely in free agency. However, his play hasn’t exactly matched the hype he is receiving.Amazingly, Bradberry has never received a PFF grade north of 70.0 and his 2019 grade of 60.9 was the worst of his career. To put things in perspective, Arthur Maulet received a 65.2 PFF grade in 2019.Of course, PFF grades never tell the full story. But his other statistics hardly support his case.As noted by Michael Nania of Jets X-Factor, Bradberry ranks in the 26th percentile when it comes to yards allowed per coverage snap in his career. On the contrary, Jones ranks in the 82nd percentile.

Take a look at the side-by-side analysis that was conducted below.

Byron Jones could be very much worth a huge deal.James Bradberry? Probably not.@Michael_Nania with more numbers on the two potential #Jets free agent CB targets: https://buff.ly/2Wb0fNg 

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There’s a stark difference there — and yet they’ll likely command similar contracts. Bradberry is a fine player and still a starting-caliber cornerback, but paying him north of $15 million would be a massive blunder on the Jets’ part.The Jets would be better off spending considerably less money on players like Trae Waynes and Prince Amukamara while receiving similar production. In fact, both Waynes and Amukamara scored better PFF grades in 2019 than Bradberry.Of course, Jets fans will be quick to point to the major flop that was the Trumaine Johnson signing as a comparison. Spending huge money on a cornerback in free agency doesn’t necessarily mean the signing will fail.

But spending huge money on an average cornerback demanding a superstar deal is setting a franchise up for failure.The Jets are desperately in need of cornerback help and they have been searching for a true No. 1 cornerback since the days of prime Darrelle Revis. But while James Bradberry is going to be paid like one, the numbers don’t support the hefty sum it will take to land him.

Spend money elsewhere or risk making a major mistake. That is the choice the Jets will be faced with in the coming weeks.

>    https://thejetpress.com/2020/03/11/ny-jets-james-bradberry-free-agency/

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The NY Jets will be looking for pass-rush help this offseason and they could find the help they need in the form of veteran Cameron Wake.

The NY Jets have been searching for a truly dominant edge rusher for over a decade at this point. And while they may not be able to snag one this offseason, veteran pass rusher Cameron Wake could be a wise pickup in free agency.

Wake was released by the Tennessee Titans along with running back Dion Lewis earlier on Thursday in what was a cost-cutting move. The Titans had signed the five-time Pro Bowler to a pretty hefty three-year, $23 million contract last offseason.But after an injury-riddled 2019 season, the Titans opted to move on after just one season. However, despite his disappointing season, Wake could still be a very useful player for the Jets.In nine games, Wake finished with 2.5 sacks while playing in a part-time role. It was the first time since his rookie season in Miami that he hadn’t been an every-down player, and he actually fared quite well.

The analytics back this up as Wake finished with an exceptional Pro Football Focus grade of 83.9. If that was extended throughout the entire season, it would have been one of the highest grades out of any edge defender in the NFL.Wake can still play at a very high level, even if he’s not asked to be a starter. And the fact that he’s still going this strong at a remarkable 38-years-old is truly an impressive feat.For years, Wake tormented the Jets as a dominant pass rusher for the division rival Miami Dolphins. In 19 career games against the Jets, Wake has amassed 12.5 sacks — more than he has against any other NFL franchise.Signing Wake to a cheap, one-year deal in the offseason is both plausible and worthwhile.The Jets are in desperate need of some help at edge rusher, especially with Jordan Jenkins set to hit free agency.

Even if the Jets bring Jenkins back, there’s no clear plan at the other position and Jenkins is hardly a top-tier pass rusher either.Wake wouldn’t be a star-studded addition, but he would be excellent depth and would probably give the team their best true pass rusher. Despite his age, Wake still gets to the quarterback at an impressive rate.On 172 pass-rush snaps, Wake managed to get pressure on a whopping 31 of them for an impressive 18 percent pressure rate — top three among qualified edge rushers. Moreover, his veteran leadership and experience would be invaluable to a young Jets defense.Even if the Jets managed to sign one of the top edge rushers on the market, targeting Wake still makes sense. Situational pass rushers are important, and signing one with the pedigree and production that Wake has is a no-brainer.

It’s time to bring Cameron Wake back to the AFC East.

>      https://thejetpress.com/2020/03/12/ny-jets-cameron-wake-sneaky-good-pickup/

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The NY Jets will be assessing all of their options on the free-agent market and these three players could make for intriguing additions.

The NY Jets are expected to be very active in free agency once again this offseason. With over $50 million in cap space — and plenty more to come — the team should have plenty of options to make splashes in the coming days.

From Byron Jones to Joe Thuney, the Jets will be targeting some of the top names on the market in hopes of upgrading their most dire positions. But of course, it isn’t feasible to land premium players at each position.The Jets will be exploring all options as they look to make adjustments to their roster ahead of the 2020 season. And with various NFL teams around the league releasing veterans to create cap space, the Jets have a unique opportunity to add a few difference-makers.

These players weren’t necessarily cut from their respective organizations because they’re washed-up or not good enough. Some ran into injury trouble while others just didn’t provide the value of their contracts.But that doesn’t mean they can’t be productive on a new team in 2020.With that, let’s take a look at three recently released players the Jets should consider signing.

3. Ryan Succop, K

The Jets’ special teams unit once again excelled in 2019 under the guidance of Brant Boyer, but the one position that remains a major weakness is kicker.Gang Green went through various failed kicker experiments early on last season from Chandler Catanzaro to Taylor Bertolet to Kaare Vedvik, but the player who saw the most time was Sam Ficken.Ficken was signed by the Jets on September 10th and he would end up kicking in 15 games, making just 70 percent of his kicks. The former Penn State standout would miss three extra-points and eight of his 27 field-goal attempts in what was a below-average season.And going into 2020, the Jets will certainly be looking for an upgrade at the position. And that upgrade could come in the form of 11-year veteran Ryan Succop.Succop was released by the Tennessee Titans on Friday after spending the last six seasons as their primary kicker.

However, last season was undoubtedly the most challenging of his career to this point.The former Kansas City Chiefs kicker would begin the year on the injured reserve, only to return for just six games before being placed on the IR again. During that time, Succop made just one of his six field-goal attempts — although one of his misses was blocked.2019 was a challenge, but his long track record of success prior to last year is what should be intriguing to teams in need of a kicker. The Jets are one of those teams and there’s no doubt that they could benefit from having a proven NFL kicker on the roster.Ficken likely isn’t the answer, but Succop certainly could be.

 

2. Ricky Wagner, OT

The Jets should have plenty of opportunities to address the offensive line in the offseason with the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft expected to be very deep along the offensive line. The same could be said for this year’s crop of free agents.From Jack Conklin to Joe Thuney to Graham Glasgow, there’s no shortage of excellent starting options set to hit the open market. But on Friday, another intriguing name joined that list.The Detroit Lions released veteran right tackle Ricky Wagner earlier on Friday after three seasons with the team. Prior to joining the Lions, Wagner spent four seasons with Baltimore starting three of those years.But after impressing in his first season in Detroit, the 30-year-old has seen a dip in his level of play.Wagner was graded as the 19th offensive tackle in football back in 2017, per Pro Football Focus. But by the time 2019 came to an end, PFF graded him as the 67th best offensive tackle.

Keep in mind, there are only 64 starters league-wide.Still, Wagner has proven pretty durable and could be a mid-tier starting option if other plans go array. At the very least, it couldn’t hurt to bring him in on a cheap, short-term deal to have him compete with second-year pro Chuma Edoga in training camp.Perhaps Wagner could even act as a mentor to Edoga who proved to be very raw and unpolished last season.He shouldn’t be their first option, but Wagner isn’t a player that the Jets should overlook.

1. Cameron Wake, EDGE

It seems like clockwork that we discuss the Jets’ need for a true edge rusher every single offseason — and this year is no different. But with more pressing needs at the moment (offensive line, wide receiver, cornerback), they may not be able to land one of the top names on the market.Aside from that, many of those top names could and will end up being franchise tagged — see Matt Judon, Yannick Ngakoue, and soon-to-be Shaquil Barrett.That means that the Jets might need to pivot and look to upgrade the position in other ways. Of course, the team will want to bring back Jordan Jenkins who is set to hit free agency, but one player who warrants attention is longtime NFL veteran Cameron Wake.

Wake was released by the Titans on Thursday after a disappointing one-year tenure in Nashville. But the 38-year-old managed to show last season that he still has something left in the tank.The Miami Dolphins legend recorded 31 pressures on 172 pass-rush snaps last season which was good for top-three among qualified edge rushers. Unfortunately, Wake played in just nine games before landing on the injured reserve, ending his season prematurely.

The Titans opted to move on from his hefty contract with needs at other positions, but Wake proved that he could still get to the quarterback at an efficient rate last season.He wouldn’t be a high-profile signing, but Wake would give the Jets some much-needed depth at a position of need as well as provide the team with their best true pass rusher.Bringing Wake back to the AFC East seems like a no-brainer and it’s a move the Jets should absolutely consider.

>    https://thejetpress.com/2020/03/14/ny-jets-3-released-players-target/4/

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The NY Jets should target these three offensive linemen in 2021 free agency.

The NY Jets will have a lot of work to do at a number of important positions this offseason. From wide receiver tocornerback to edge rusher, there is no shortage of weaknesses on this roster.But one position that was a focus last offseason that mustn’t be ignored in 2021 is the offensive line.General manager Joe Douglas made the offensive line a “priority” in his first offseason with the team. However, just as the strategy was to shop cheap with the remainder of the roster, the same strategy was employed with the offensive line.The Jets settled for second-tier free agents such as George Fant and Greg Van Roten and while there was some optimism surrounding the acquisition of center Connor McGovern, the move wasn’t exactly high-profile.

The offensive line has been better in 2020, perhaps due in part to the play of rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton. But there’s still plenty of work to be done and the upcoming free agency period could be another opportunity for Douglas to address the position group.Instead, of cheap, second-rate free agents, maybe this time Douglas and the Jets decide it’s time to spend a little.And if that’s the case, here are three very notable (and not cheap) offensive linemen they could target this March.

3. The NY Jets should target OT Taylor Moton

George Fant has been a serviceable, albeit unspectacular solution at right tackle. And although he was signed to a three-year, $30 million contract last offseason, the Jets could realistically get out of the deal with very little dead cap if they want to.And if a player like Taylor Moton becomes available, they might just choose to do so.A second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Moton took over as the Carolina Panthers’ starting right tackle in 2018 and never looked back.The Western Michigan product was ranked as a top-17 offensive tackle by Pro Football Focus in each of his first two seasons as a starter and has put together an even more impressive 2020 scoring a fantastic 82.6 grade which ranks ninth at his position.

Moton has somewhat flown under the radar to this point, but he’s due for a massive payday this offseason which should help earn him some more leaguewide attention.The Panthers will likely do everything they can to re-sign him and there’s a good chance that the franchise tag is used if the two sides can’t come to a long-term agreement.But given that Moton is just 26-years-old and one of the best right tackles in football, the Jets should do absolutely everything they can to sign him if he somehow hits the open market.

He’s not the most likely option, but it’s a no-brainer if the opportunity presents itself.

2. The NY Jets should target OG Brandon Scherff

The bulk of the Jets’ offseason focus on the offensive line should come with the interior. And one high-profile player who could fill that void in free agency is veteran guard Brandon Scherff.A three-time Pro Bowler, Scherff has been considered one of the best guards in the NFL for quite some time now. When on the field, few are as dominant at his position as he is.Unfortunately, injuries have been a concern for Scherff as he’s missed time in each of the last four seasons. Still, there’s no denying his talent when healthy.

Scherff has made the Pro Bowl in three of his last four seasons and has never finished with a PFF ranking below 21st at his position. That level of consistency over a six-year stretch is truly remarkable.He’s finished top-10 at his position twice in his career and is on pace for a third time in 2020. Needless to say, he’s due for a substantial payday in the offseason.

Washington franchise-tagged Scherff this past offseason to keep him on the team, but it’s unlikely they do so again this year. And with a long-term extension appearing unlikely as well, there’s a good chance he hits the open market.If he does, expect the Jets (and many other teams) to be all over that. Of course, the durability concerns could steer the Jets or other teams away, but few guards are as talented as Scherff is.

This would be a home-run signing even in spite of the injury concerns.

1. The NY Jets should target OG Joe Thuney

If Scherff isn’t the most notable offensive lineman on the market this offseason, it’s only because he’ll be surpassed by another elite interior talent in New England Patriots’ guard Joe Thuney.A third-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Thuney has been the model of consistency over the past five years. Since entering the league back in 2016, Thuney has yet to miss a single game starting all 75 games over that stretch.In today’s NFL, that level of durability is almost unheard of. And he hasn’t just been healthy, he’s played at an elite level as well.

Thuney ranked as PFF’s No. 6 overall guard in 2018 and one-upped himself finishing as the fifth-best guard the following season. Since 2017, he hasn’t ranked lower than 15th and that trend looks destined to continue this season.

Much like Scherff, Thuney was due to become a free agent last offseason but the Patriots tagged him before he could hit the open market. This time around, things could be different.New England is still looking to work out a long-term deal, but there’s no doubt that Thuney will want to be one of, if not the highest-paid guard in the NFL. And it’s hard to say he doesn’t deserve it.Thuney is the ideal Joe Douglas target. A versatile, durable, high-character offensive lineman who also doubles as an All-Pro talent.

Douglas won’t be able to resist if Thuney actually hits the market.

>  https://thejetpress.com/2020/12/02/ny-jets-3-linemen-2021-free-agency/

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Marcus Maye found himself in an unenviable position early in the Jets’ 40-3 loss to the Seahawks on Sunday afternoon.

Down 7-3 in the first quarter, Maye matched up with DK Metcalf downfield, both going for a pass that would have given Seattle its second score in as many drives if caught. The massive 6-foot-4 Metcalf has terrorized defensive backs on deep balls all season, but Maye remained unphased and did what he has quietly done throughout his career with the Jets.

He made the play when New York needed it the most.

Looking like Russell Wilson’s intended target, Maye turned around, found the ball, used one hand to tip it to himself and hauled it in on his way to the ground to bring an end to the Seahawks’ scoring threat. In that moment, Maye perfectly summed up why Joe Douglas needs to do everything in his power to keep him in the Big Apple for a long time.It might not have seemed like it in the heat of the moment, but Maye’s interception was about much more than keeping the Seahawks off the board in a meaningless game for the Jets. Maye has become the heart and soul of New York’s defense. He’s not the rah-rah type of leader Jamal Adams was, but he plays with a confidence and swagger that his teammates recognize and respect. That carries over into the locker room, where Maye is now an elder statesman on one of the most inexperienced teams in the NFL.“What I’ve seen from Marcus Maye, really the entire season, I’ve been extremely impressed,” Adam Gase said in October, per the New York Post. “To watch him — he shows up a lot when you watch the offensive side of the ball. You see him, he’s like a cheerleader sometimes.

“You see him coming off the bench if we have any kind of positive play, cheering on the offense. He speaks up a lot, which is something that I didn’t hear a lot last year.”

Maye’s leadership will be much needed at One Jets Drive as New York dives into the next stage of its rebuild this offseason — one that will likely feature a new head coach and quarterback. The fourth-year safety’s contract is set to expire at the end of 2020, though, which means Douglas will have to move swiftly to ensure he sticks around.The good news for Douglas in this regard is the Jets don’t have many in-house free agents worth keeping beyond this season. Breshad Perriman is probably New York’s only other impending free agent worth a new contract. That means Douglas can dedicate nearly all of his energy to putting together an enticing deal to keep Maye with the only organization he has ever known before free agency.It would be hard to blame Maye for wanting to test the open market considering how poorly the Jets have performed throughout his career. Once Maye starts hearing from other teams, especially the ones with winning track records, it could spell the end of his time in New York.

Douglas cannot allow that to happen.

Maye is simply too important to the Jets’ future to allow him to walk out the front door without making a top-end offer. He could have rolled over going up against Metcalf. He could have gotten out of dodge to avoid getting mossed and winding up on Metcalf’s next poster.

Instead, he fought. That kind of never-say-die mindset is exactly what the Jets need moving into the future.

>   https://jetswire.usatoday.com/2020/12/14/new-york-jets-marcus-maye-2021-nfl-free-agency-priority-joe-douglas/

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Rich Cimini    ESPN Staff Writer 

Pending free agent Marcus Maye said there haven't been any contract talks yet. "That conversation will be here at the end of the year," he said. Asked if he wants to remain with the Jets, he said, "Any place that I've gone, I want to be there for a long time. You want stability. Everybody wants stability."

>      https://www.espn.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyj/new-york-jets

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Rich Cimini   ESPN Staff Writer 

S Marcus Maye, looking to the future, said "the talent is here. There are pieces here. It's nothing that you have to go out looking for." Clearly, he was being kind. There's a talent shortage. Maye is their top free agent. Asked if he wants to return, he said, "Of course. Obviously, I love it here, I'm comfortable here, but that decision is not up to me."

>    https://www.espn.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyj/new-york-jets

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in the lead-up to the start of free agency on March 17 and the opening day of the 2021 NFL Draft on April 29, we'll be taking a position-by-position look at all 32 NFL teams with a focus on the starting spots that have question marks heading into next season.I’ll warn you before we begin — the current state of the New York Jets roster is ugly. Of the 23 projected starting spots in this piece (11 on offense and 12 on defense), just 10 are filled with players who are currently under contract.The good news is that New York is well-positioned to make some major additions to their team, with the third-most projected cap space in the NFL and six top-100 picks in this year’s draft. What they do with those resources will go a long way towards determining the team's course over the next several years.

Projected cap space (Over the Cap): $68,725,814 (3rd in NFL)

Picks in 2021 NFL Draft: 2, 23, 34, 66, 87, 98, 130, 138, 162, 215

Projected 2021 offense 
Position Player 2020 PFF grade rank 2021 cap hit
QB ?
RB ?
WR Denzel Mims 67 / 127 $1.2 million
WR Jamison Crowder 31 / 127 $11.4 million
WR ?
TE Chris Herndon 58 / 71 $2.4 million
LT Mekhi Becton 18 / 38 $4.2 million
LG ?
C Connor McGovern 23 / 37 $9.3 million
RG ?
RT George Fant 29 / 38 $9.4 million

Sam Darnold still has one year remaining on his rookie contract, but between Deshaun Watson trade rumors and the likelihood that the Jets select a quarterback at No. 2 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, Darnold seems unlikely to remain New York’s starting quarterback next season. Fourth-round running back La’Mical Perine sits atop the Jets' RB depth chart as things stand right now, but look for New York to add competition there this offseason. 

As far as receiving options go, Crowder is easily the most accomplished on the roster, but it remains to be seen if he will be in the starting lineup come September. His release would save the Jets over $10 million against the cap. One of New York's priorities this offseason will be adding weapons around him and Mims for whoever starts at quarterback next season. Becton’s job at left tackle is secure following a promising rookie season. And McGovern will be difficult to part with, given his contract. The rest of the starting spots on the line should at least have competition heading into next season, though. George Fant, Alex Lewis and Greg Van Roten could potentially be released for salary-cap purposes. As a whole, the Jets line underperformed in 2020, ranking 29th in PFF’s end-of-the-year offensive line rankings.   

Why must the Jets make securing a franchise quarterback a top priority this offseason?

There was some talk heading into this offseason that the Jets could stay put at second overall and take a player like Penei Sewell, seeing what Sam Darnold had to offer with an improved supporting cast. It’s difficult to overstate how big of a mistake that would be for New York. It can be true that Darnold has had arguably the worst quarterback situation in the NFL since the Jets took him third overall in the 2018 NFL Draft and that he has done very little in his first three years in the league to warrant the kind of confidence it would take to pass on a quarterback who would go first overall in most other drafts. That is the kind of talent that both Zach Wilson and Justin Fields have behind Trevor Lawrence in what is an ideal quarterback draft class to find yourself picking near the top.

 

Darnold’s 63.1 PFF grade since 2018 ranks dead last among 32 qualifying quarterbacks. Even when isolating for clean-pocket dropbacks in an attempt to mitigate some of the poor pass protection he’s had, his 76.2 passing grade without pressure sits ahead of only Mitchell Trubisky among qualifiers. Could he develop into a quality starting quarterback in a better environment? Potentially. Is that chance worth passing up multiple high-level talents at the most important position in the game? That’s a tough sell. 

Is Jamison Crowder worth keeping around on his current contract?

When I tell you that Crowder has been the only reliable presence at wide receiver for the Jets over the past two seasons, I mean it. His 137 receptions since 2019 are 85 more than the next highest mark at the position for New York. Robby Anderson comes in second with 52 despite not even playing for the team last season.Crowder has been a productive contributor from the slot on one of the worst passing offenses in the NFL, earning a PFF receiving grade of 78.0 over the last two years. It’s not as if the $10 million-plus that the Jets would free up with his release is much-needed money in a dire cap situation, either. New York does enter this offseason with plenty of needs to address, but they have nearly $70 million to work with already. It makes sense for the Jets to keep Crowder in place for whoever is playing quarterback next season.   

Do any of the 2020 free agent acquisitions along the offensive line take a step forward in their second season with the team?

The Jets attacked the offensive line last season with the look of a team that understood that they needed to be better up front. The problem is that their approach was more quantity over quality. Now, they will enter the 2020 offseason in a similar boat except for the solace that comes with Mekhi Becton looking a lot like a franchise left tackle. Left guard Alex Lewis recorded a pass-blocking grade of 55.6 before his season came to an end following Week 11. Pat Elflein fared even worse in the following weeks, recording a 33.9 pass-blocking grade across six starts at left guard.Similarly, Connor McGovern’s respectable PFF grade rank was driven largely by his run blocking. His 42.7 pass-blocking grade on the season was one of the worst marks at the center position, but he did come on as the season progressed. Greg Van Roten led the interior offensive linemen with a 71.5 pass-blocking grade at right guard. 

Lastly, George Fant required some projection heading into the 2020 season as a starting tackle after playing more snaps as a sixth offensive lineman in the 2018 and 2019 seasons than he did at tackle. He ended the year with a PFF grade of 60.7 at right tackle, ranking  29th out of 38 qualifiers at the position. His release could free up over $7 million this offseason. The tricky thing for New York is that it’s hard to see things getting a whole lot better for guys like McGovern, Van Roten and Fant. All appear to be what they are at this point — players capable of starting but not options you’re particularly excited about. Outside of Becton, the Jets should be looking to upgrade all four positions along the offensive line in the coming years.  

POTENTIAL TARGETS AT OPEN SPOTS

Quarterback: Deshaun Watson, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields

The Jets need to have their eyes set on one of these three guys. Watson obviously comes with the highest floor-ceiling combination as a top-three asset in the entire league given his play to start his career and his age, but he will also cost draft picks in a trade, is already making an elite quarterback salary and would have to agree to a trade to New York. If they don’t get Watson, the draft decision for the Jets will come down to Wilson vs. Fields. PFF gives Wilson the slight edge as second on our big board with Fields at third overall, but both guys have franchise-changing ability.

Wilson is coming off an elite 95.4 PFF grade in 2020 and produced some special plays outside the pocket this past year for BYU. Meanwhile, Fields is arguably the most accurate quarterback in the draft class and gives you some more flexibility to use him in the designed run game. It will come down to preference for the Jets. Either selection would be a win. 

Running back: Travis Etienne, Jerick McKinnon 

With Mike LaFleur coming in as the offensive coordinator, you can expect the Jets to work plenty of outside zone into their offense. Teams like the San Francisco 49ers have prioritized speed at the running back position in similar offenses, hunting big plays in the run game on the edge. It makes sense that the Jets would do the same.There is no better back in this draft class in that mold than Etienne. He broke 217 tackles as a runner across the last four seasons — averaging over 4.5 yards after contact per rushing attempt — and he has rare burst and big-play ability at the position. While Najee Harris looks like he’ll be the first running back off the board come April, Etienne is the top back on PFF’s Big Board

McKinnon would come with less investment than Etienne, but he could still provide the Jets some juice in a rotational role. McKinnon has already made it very clear that he won’t be returning to San Francisco next season. He earned grades of 74.0 or higher as both a runner and receiver in limited action with the 49ers in 2020 after missing both the 2018 and 2019 seasons with injury. 

Wide receiver: Corey Davis, Rondale Moore 

The Jets need a legitimate No. 1 receiver, and those guys are potentially out there this offseason between Chris Godwin, Allen Robinson and Kenny Golladay. The Jets' only problem is that all three could end up getting extended or hit with the franchise tag. Davis — PFF’s 25th-ranked free agent — seems more likely to be available. The former fifth-overall pick finally started to looklike the player that the Tennessee Titans envisioned when they selected him in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. His 85.3 PFF grade ranked 10th among all wide receivers in 2020, and he stood out as a legitimate big-play threat on Tennessee’s offense. His 15.1 yards per reception last season were a career high. Moore is a different kind of receiver for New York to target. So much of his production at Purdue was manufactured because the offense simply wanted to get the ball into his hands. He’s electric in the open field with the football, undersized but not weak or easily brought to the ground by any means. He broke 37 tackles in his freshman year alone. That kind of elite player in space is a mold that the 49ers have continuously targeted, and you could see the Jets look to follow suit.   

Interior offensive line: Joe Thuney, Kendrick Green 

Thuney is one of two “big prize” free agents for every team seeking help at guard. The Jets should be very familiar with his work following five years in the AFC East to open his career. Thuney would immediately tighten up any pass-protection issues at the right guard spot. He has earned PFF pass-blocking grades of 70.0 or higher in each of his first five NFL seasons.Green is a later draft target that makes a lot of sense if the Jets do transition to an outside-zone heavy rushing attack. As the PFF Draft Guide points out, Green earned a 92.3 run-blocking grade on outside-zone runs with the speed to get out of his stance and into space. He played both left guard and center for Illinois in 2020. 

Projected 2021 Defense
Position Player 2020 PFF grade rank 2021 cap hit
EDGE ?
DI Quinnen Williams 12 / 126 $9.0 million
DI Folorunso Fatukasi 14 / 126 $2.2 million
EDGE ?
LB C.J. Mosley N/A $7.5 million
LB Blake Cashman N/A $0.9 million
LB ?
CB Bryce Hall 67 / 121 $0.9 million
CB ?
CB ?
S ?
S ?

A changing defensive scheme under new head coach Robert Saleh and defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich, several key free agents and plenty of cap space to improve the defense this offseason makes next year’s starting group difficult to project right now. Marcus Maye was arguably the team’s best defensive player in 2020, and there is no reason to expect that he won’t be back with the team on a new contract in 2021. Ashtyn Davis is the favorite to fill the other vacant safety spot, but the Jets could also look to bring in a more natural box safety to fill that role. 

At cornerback, I penciled in Hall for a starting job after several solid performances late in his 2020 rookie season. Still, the cornerback position may be the biggest area of need on this defense. Brian Poole is a candidate to be re-signed to man the slot following strong PFF coverage grades of 80.0 and 79.5 in that role the past two seasons.The defensive line is relatively set on the interior, especially with 2019 first-round pick Williams making a big sophomore leap last season. Fatukasi, John Franklin-Myers and Henry Anderson give them multiple quality options to turn to inside. Edge stands out as the big area of need, with 2020 starters Tarell Basham and Jordan Jenkins becoming free agents. New York should look to improve those two spots this offseason.

Lastly, the Jets will be hoping that C.J. Mosley starts to pay off the contract they signed him to before the 2019 season. He opted out of the 2020 season after playing just 114 defensive snaps in 2019 before going down with a groin injury. Cashman is most likely to see snaps behind Mosley as things stand.

How does the Jets defense change schematically under the new coaching staff?

The Jets are expected to switch from a 3-4 base defense to a 4-3 base defense given Saleh’s teams in the past. The distinction between the two isn’t as important as it once was given how infrequently teams run base defense in today’s NFL, but it should still be noted with New York needing to make decisions on what kind of edge rushers they will be looking to add to the team this offseason. In terms of coverage, Saleh comes from the Seattle “Cover 3” coaching tree, but his defense has evolved in recent years as the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers. Per PFF’s coverage charting, the 49ers actually ran more quarters coverage than any team in the NFL this past season while still running Cover 3 at a top-10 rate. 

That’s a big departure from the defenses that New York ran under Gregg Williams over the last two years. Since 2019, New York ranks 28th in quarters usage and 31st in Cover 3 usage, ahead of only the Las Vegas Raiders. They ran more Cover 2 than any defense in the NFL over that span while San Francisco ranked last. Stylistically, it will be a big shift for the Jets. 

How much does C.J. Mosley’s expected return move the needle defensively for the Jets in 2021?

It should to a certain degree. The Jets may have overpaid for Mosley in the 2019 offseason, but there is a reason that he garnered the kind of contract he did. The former first-rounder out of Alabama has a history of strong play against the run, is a sure tackler and was developing into a solid enough coverage defender with PFF coverage grades of 72.2, 78.6 and 64.1 in his final three seasons in Baltimore. He should step in and immediately be the Jets' best option at the position, even if they opt to bring back 2020 starter Neville Hewitt in free agency. Mosley’s return isn’t going to cover up the holes at the edge defender and cornerback positions for New York, though. This is still a defense that needs an injection of talent at key positions this offseason. 

How well do Marcus Maye and Ashtyn Davis fit next to each other as the Jets’ starting safety duo?

I recently broke down the ideal landing spots for several notable free agent safeties, and as I discuss more in-depth there, Maye is someone that the Jets should prioritize bringing back. Davis is the guy expected to start next to Maye at safety for New York next season, but the fit isn’t all that seamless. Davis’ ideal role is as a deep safety where he can showcase his athleticism and range while minimizing some of the issues that pop up when he has to come down into the box. The problem is that Maye has graded over 20 points better throughout his career in free safety alignments than anywhere else on the field. The Jets could still use a more traditional box safety starting next to Maye while rotating Davis in situations where it makes more sense.  

POTENTIAL TARGETS AT OPEN SPOTS

Edge defender: Jayson Oweh, Carl Lawson 

Oweh may not have recorded any sacks for Penn State in 2020, but it marked his second straight year with a PFF pass-rushing grade above 80.0. He was also dramatically improved as a run defender this past year. It wouldn’t be a bad bet on the part of the Jets to take a chance on his elite physical tools translating with one of their early picks.Lawson isn’t going to provide much in the run game, but he can be one of the NFL’s elite pass-rushers off the edge. Lawson has proven that he can deliver in that role already with his performance for much of his career in Cincinnati. No edge defender graded higher on “true pass rushes” than Lawson did in 2020. He could end up being a steal at something like the four-year, $55 million deal that PFF projects him for right now. 

Linebacker: K.J. Wright, Justin Hilliard  

With Mosley set to take over as the Mike linebacker, the Jets could be looking for an upgrade at Will, given the options currently on the roster. Wright has been playing at a high level in that role in Seattle for a long time, and the drafting of Jordyn Brooks last season may signal his time there is done. Coming off a strong season where he ranked sixth among all linebackers in PFF WAR, Wright would give the Jets solid all-around play at what should be a reasonable price point. Hilliard is one of the best athletes at linebacker in this draft class, but an injury history and corresponding lack of playing time at Ohio State will likely push him down draft boards. The former five-star recruit played a career-high 231 snaps in 2020 and earned grades north of 80.0 as both a run and coverage defender. 

Cornerback: Richard Sherman, Brian Poole, Greg Newsome

It’s not a stretch to see why the Jets would have interest in either of these two free agent options. Poole has played very well these past two years in the slot for New York — a starting role for any defense in the modern NFL. Meanwhile, Sherman has ties to Saleh from his time in San Francisco and is likely to be on the move given the cap concerns for the 49ers. He dealt with some injuries in 2020 but is only one year removed from a 90.5 coverage grade.Newsome is a name to watch for in the draft. He allowed a 31.7 passer rating on 34 passes into his coverage this past season at Northwestern and has multiple years of experience in a zone-heavy scheme. 

Safety: Marcus Maye, Keanu Neal 

Maye’s play in 2020 as one of the leaders of the defense following the trade of Jamal Adams would make it a surprise if he doesn’t return to New York. The interesting name here is Neal, who has experience with new defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich from his time in Atlanta and was teammates with Maye at Florida. Neal earned an 81.8 PFF grade when lined up in box or slot alignments for the Falcons in 2020, his first full season following several major injuries. That’s the kind of player this defense could use, and given the connections Neal has, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Jets had interest.

>  https://www.pff.com/news/nfl-new-york-jets-free-agency-and-nfl-draft-preview

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