With Rex Ryan given a multi-year extension, and the majority of his coaching staff still intact, let’s dive into free agency and some first round draft options for the Jets. Here is my top five list of offseason priorities…
Josh Cribbs did an excellent job filling in this past season as a kick/punt returner. Until his late-season-injury, he was a dynamic weapon for the Jets. Cribbs lined up as a Wildcat quarterback, in addition to returning kicks on special teams. If the Jets pass on Cribbs, they could try to sign one of the names above. As good as Cribbs was for the Jets, his injury/durability remains a concern. Regardless, this is a role that the Jets need to address. Special teams can win or lose games, at times. It’s imperative that the Jets find someone to fill this particular role. The good news is — most of these names, if not all, will come at a low price.
4.) Sign wide receiver Denario Alexander.
Fallback option- Hakeem Nicks, Jeremy Maclin
Standing at 6’5, Denario Alexander is a big target for any quarterback. Having been sidelined by injuries most of his career, Denario is a bit overlooked. This could end up helping the Jets in contract negotiations. Alexander doesn’t have much leverage. He missed the entire 2013 season as a San Diego Charger, and was placed on IR after a pre-season knee injury. Nevertheless, Denario will only be 26 once the 2014 regular season rolls around. He is a very talented receiver with size and speed.
It’s easy to see the Chargers allowing him to walk. Malcolm Floyd, Keenan Allen, Vincent Brown, Eddie Royal, Antonio Gates, and Ladarius Green will all be splitting targets from quarterback Phillip Rivers. The Chargers can afford to let Alexander walk. If Alexander signs elsewhere, the Jets could look into one of the following receivers; Hakeem Nicks, Eric Decker, James Jones, Jeremy Maclin, Anquan Boldin, or Golden Tate. When considering cost, Alexander and Nicks would be an ideal #1,2 WR priority for the Jets. Cost is important here, as we’re looking to spend more elsewhere in free agency (see #3 below). However, assuming Alexander gets back to full health, he can be a legitimate #1 receiver for the Jets.
Here are some highlights of Denario Alexander (when healthy, of course!)
3.) Sign defensive end Jared Allen.
Fallback option: Brian Orakpo or Shawn Phillips
The Jets can use a veteran pass rusher to have a “situational pass-rusher” type role. Jared Allen/Shawn Phillips will provide extra leadership. Rex Ryan is notorious for keeping his veterans fresh, so I could see this really benefitting the Jets down the line; hopefully during a playoff run. Allen won’t come cheap, but signing him to a 2-3 year deal could be an affordable option. Phillips could come at a lesser price, but he is nearly half the talent that Jared Allen is. Allen could be in high demand, come free agency. Signing Phillips or even Brian Orakpo to a 2-3 year deal is another direction the team could go. Orakpo is a long-shot, assuming he will seek a big-time deal in free agency. These veteran pass-rushers could be the icing on the cake for a Jets dominant front seven, looking to take the next step in 2014.
Please jump with us to page 2, where Jetserious will break down the top two players/positions the Jets should address this offseason, and a preview of what the Jets depth chart could look like heading into the 2014 regular season….