I’ve been saying for quite some time now that the Jets have some major decisions to make in the off-season this year. Many of those decisions will be pertaining to the current roster and the players that are free agent eligible. I thought we would take a look at some of them today. Of course it’s impossible to say what the Jets may do with any of these players, as we currently don’t know who will be making those decisions. A lot will depend on who the general manager and head coach of this team will be next season as a change will bring different philosophies, and possibly different schemes. I still think it is worth kicking around and having some discussion about. Let’s take a look.
Dec 22, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan speaks with inside linebacker David Harris (52) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Browns 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
First let’s take a look at David Harris. Harris as we all know has been a tackling machine for the New York Jets. He is 30 yrs old, playing in his 7th NFL season for the Jets. Harris is finishing out a four year deal worth 36 million dollars that included a eight million signing bonus with 24 million dollars being guaranteed. That contract paid Mr. Harris quite well, and it is likely he will be looking to cash in on his performances one last time at the age of 30. The questions concerning Harris resigning arises because of potentially what he will be seeking on the financial end, as well as his potential fit if the Jets choose to change defensive schemes.
Harris will likely draw interest from several teams if the Jets were to allow him to test the market. Depending who is running the show next season, Harris could be viewed as an asset, or a liability, so as fans we’ll have to keep an eye on this one. I’m not a real big Harris fan, but would like to see him back in 2015 for his leadership role as they bring in younger linebackers.
Dec 1, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan and New York Jets corner backKyle Wilson
(20) during warmups before a game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Wilson is another unresticted free agent at season’s end. Wilson has played out his five year contract with the Jets. Chosen in the first round of the 2010 draft, Wilson’s contract was a five year deal worth 9.91 million dollars including a 1,112,000 dollar signing bonus. Wilson’s play has been criticized since being drafted by the Jets. He has been moved around the secondary a bit, seeing action both on the outside and primarily as a nickel/slot corner. He’s never quite lived up to his lofty draft position, and you have to wonder what the Jets plans are for him in the future.
Wilson will likely be looking for a raise, the big question is how much he’ll be seeking. Under normal circumstances, the Jets might be willing to allow Wilson to test free agency. Unfortunately, the Jets secondary is a disaster! While Wilson’s play has been sub-par for the most part, he was likely the top performer in the Jets secondary this year. That fact might just buy this player a return to the Jets next season, even with a substantial raise. I’m not sure which direction the Jets will take with Wilson, but it could be viewed as a key signing for the secondary.
Oct 12, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Denver Broncos tight endJulius Thomas
(80) scores a touchdown in front of New York Jets strong safetyDawan Landry
(26) during the second quarter of their NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Dawan Landry is another player that is an unrestricted free agent this year. Landry is completing a three million dollar contract that included a 650,000 dollar signing bonus, with 650,000 dollars being guaranteed. Landry will be 32 years of age next season, and while his play has been adequate, it hasn’t been spectacular either. The Jets have some young kids behind him waiting. I imagine the decision will boil down to whether or not they have confidence in those young players. Landry may make a return in 2015 if the Jets can get him cheap enough but the odds are probably against the aging safety. This is one of those signings that could swing with whomever is in charge next season.
Dec 1, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterbackRyan Tannehill
(17) is sacked by New York Jets defensive endKenrick Ellis
(93) at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
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The next two I’m going to include together as the Jets will likely have to decide to sign one or the other going forward. Both Kenrick Ellis and Damon Harrison are unrestricted free agents, and this one may prove to be a very difficult one for the Jets. Both have played outstanding football for their team, both are key pins stopping the run, and both can provide a pass rush in the middle.
Let’s talk about this one ,Jets fans. How do you think the Jets will handle their free agents? Let’s discuss!