Dec 7, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinatorTodd Bowles
against the Kansas City Chiefs at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Chiefs 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Anytime a new regime steps in to take over a team, players familiar with the coaches tend to follow suit. We saw it when Rex Ryan took over the Jets. Bart Scott was the first free agent that Rex brought into the fold, and several other Ravens, including Jim Leonhard, followed right along. Coaches like to bring in players that are familiar with them and their system, we see it all over the league.
The Jets have a new coach in Todd Bowles, and staff that is starting to take place. It is looking like Chan Gailey will be the offensive coordinator, with Kacy Rodgers taking the reigns as defensive coordinator. With that, there will be players that are likely to follow their former coaches to the Jets when free agency opens.
Here are some potential free agents, with ties to the new coaching staff, that might very well have interest in coming to Florham Park to play for the New York Jets.
Next: Antonio Cromartie
Dec 28, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerbackAntonio Cromartie
(31) looks on before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi
The first one that comes to mind, and one that would make most Jets fans quite happy, would be a return of Antonio Cromartie.
We know about his connection with the team. In four seasons with the Jets, Cromartie recorded 13 interceptions, and made an impact in the kick return game as well. Cromartie has gas left in the tank, posting three more interceptions while playing for Bowles’ defense in Arizona.
Clearly Cromartie likes Bowles, as he had nothing but kind words to say when he heard about his coach getting the Jets job:
Coach Bowles is a very smart coach. 1 of the smartest coaches I’ve been around. Has a very similar scheme 2 Rex so the defense won’t change
— ANTONIO CROMARTIE (@CRO31) January 14, 2015
The Jets need a cornerback. Cromartie has been a good one here and elsewhere. A reunion between the Jets and Antonio Cromartie makes sense for all involved.
Next: Nate Allen
Nov 27, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Philadelphia Eagles cornerbackBradley Fletcher
(24) celebrates a play with strong safetyNate Allen
(29) against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Philadelphia beat Dallas 33-10. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
In 2012, Todd Bowles was the secondary coach, and spent part of the season as the interim defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles. Andy Reid has described the Jets hiring of Bowles as a “great hire”.
During the 2012 season, Nate Allen had one of his better seasons, although he didn’t post any interceptions. At the strong safety spot, Allen’s tackles went up from 59 to 73 (60 solo). He posted four pass defenses as well.
He may not start as a member of the Jets, but with young players like Calvin Pryor and Dexter McDougle, among others, in the defensive backfield, Allen could be the veteran influence that could pay huge dividends.
Next: C.J. Spiller
Dec 15, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Buffalo Bills running back CJ Spiller (28) runs against Jacksonville Jaguars linebackerPaul Posluszny
(51) during the first half of the game at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
I have gone on record on this site saying that I would like the Jets to go into next year with Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell. Committees at running back don’t work, the Jets need a guy to tote the rock 20-25 times per game, and Chris Ivory can get that done. Bilal Powell is a fine change of pace back, and that, to me, is all the Jets need.
But, if the Jets feel they need to bring in a third guy, C.J. Spiller might just be that guy.
Spiller played for new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey from 2010-2012, while Gailey was the head coach up in Buffalo. Gailey’s last season in Buffalo was Spiller’s career best. That year, he posted 1,244 yards on the ground, six touchdowns, and a yards per carry average of a whopping six yards. Spiller has never been that good before or since.
C.J. Spiller would benefit in this offense, so he is a guy that the Jets might very well look into.
Next: Jared Odrick
Dec 21, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive tackleJared Odrick
(98) looks on from the sideline during the first half against the Minnesota Vikings at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jared Odrick has been a product of Jets new defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers since he was drafted in 2010. You might wonder why the Jets might consider adding a position of strength, but hear me out.
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The Jets are likely moving from a base 3-4 to a base 4-3. Yes, that likely means that Quinton Coples will return to his original position of down lineman. But, what is also means is that the Jets can use depth on the defensive line. Here is where Jared Odrick comes into the fold.
Odrick can help in the pass rush, an area that incumbent Damon Harrison has lacked in. Harrison has logged one sack in his career, while Odrick has posted 16.5 sacks over the last four years. He provides another element of pass rush to a Todd Bowles system that likes to blitz. Already understanding the Bowles/Rodgers system would likely carve out a role with the Jets defense quickly.
So, what do you guys think? Sound off below.