New York Jets Free Agency 2013: A Primer of Potential Candidates

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Dec 30, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) drops to pass under pressure by New York Jets outside linebacker Calvin Pace (97) during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Jets 28-9. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

With the free agency period in full swing, John Idzik and company are hard at work deciding who to bring in here to fill out this roster.  Players the Jets should look at targeting in my mind would be veterans not quickly sought, and other bigger names to keep an eye on should they not be signed. This is my list of candidates for free agency.

QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick: Recently released by Buffalo, and also probably a little bit humiliated by Buddy Nix following the prank phone call preceding his release. Also Drew Stanton, but I don’t think he would be interested in NY. Mornhinweg and Idzik both said they wanted multiple arms in training camp for competition. Either willing to play for a minimum just to get back to a starting role would be good.

RB: Mike Goodson – reportedly linked to them. Rashard Mendenhall- free agent and workhorse type. He’s not a west coast type of back, but could wind up a Steven Jackson do it all for the Jets. Best bet to me would be in the draft. I also like Peyton Hillis formerly of Denver, Cleveland, and Kansas City. Here me out. He was a fullback in Arkansas for Darren McFadden before becoming a full time running back. If he were to go back to full back after two down years in Cleveland and Kansas City he could be a running, pass catching do it all full back and still get roughly 100-150 touches a year in rushes and catches combined. My favorites in the draft would be Montee Ball in the 2nd or 3rd round, and Raymond Graham in the 4th or 5th round. Both are complete west coast backs that could thrive as potential #1 ball carriers.

WR: Considering they retain Braylon Edwards, the Jets are actually pretty stocked with 4 quality receivers in Edwards, Holmes, Hill, and Kerley. Rumors have them exploring guys like Mohamed Massaquoi who has been a career disappointment. Think Justin McCareins from a decade ago. Draft favorite is one player, Steadman Bailey of West Virginia. Wherever he is drafted, it will be a steal.

TE: The biggest thing the Jets need to do is to re-sign Dustin Keller. Despite Sanchez having a poor year, Keller caught 77% of the passes when he was targeted, ranking tops among tight ends. He had 28 receptions through 8 games despite playing with hamstring and knee injuries. Expanding that to a full season would have put him on pace for another 60 catch 600+ yard receiving season with another 6 or so touchdowns. His replacement Jeff Cumberland caught 55% of the passes targeted for him, a 20% dive. Keller coming off an injury, could have the most to gain by resigning with the team. Most beneficial player resigning for both sides in free agency in my opinion. None of the tight ends in the draft outside of 1st rounders Zach Ertz or Tyler Eifert are going to produce in year one.

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