Potential New York Jets’ Free Agent: TE John Carlson

By Alan Schechter

Dec 1, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end

John Carlson

(89) rushes onto the field to play against the Chicago Bears at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Vikings win 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Free agency is under five days away. The rumors are in full swing, and the signing frenzy is getting ready to start. March 11th is the big day, and it will be here soon enough.

We know that the Jets are in the market for a tight end. With that, take a look at this tweet from reporter Mike Garafolo:

Jets, Packers among the teams interested in former Vikings TE John Carlson, who is visiting the Cardinals today.

— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 6, 2014

With that, let’s take a look at John Carlson. Here are his career stats to date:

Receiving & Rushing

So he definitely is a weapon. His first two years, he averaged six touchdowns per season. These are numbers that would obviously help Geno Smith, if he can get back to form. His production was not the same after those first two years, but, he is only 29 years old, and should have a lot of football left in the tank.

Let’s take a look at some detailed metrics, courtesy of our friends at Pro Football Focus.

He may have caught less passes in recent years, but he has become more reliable in the passing game.  After posting drop rates from just over 7% to 13%, last season, John dropped just one pass out of 33 catchable passes for a drop rate of 3.03%.  That is reliability at just about its highest level , Jets fans.

Carlson is an asset in the passing game as well.  Last year, his pass blocking efficiency jumped up to 96.4 after being just over 91 in 2012.  An issue for Geno Smith was time in the pocket, so efficient pass blockers will never be out of style.

Carlson was 19th in the league at tight end with % caught (percentage that he was thrown to and a reception was made) of 72.7%.  His overall rating for the 2013 season was 2.7, ranking him 17th overall among  all tight ends in the NFL.

The Jets will certainly have the money to play with.  They could do worse than signing John Carlson, as it shouldn’t take a ton of money to bring this guy in here.  He only made $1.5 million in base salary, plus $1 million in signing bonus.