Jan 21, 2015; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets new general manager Mike Maccagnan (left) and new head coachTodd Bowles
(right) speak during a press conference at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/NJ Advance Media for NJ.com via USA TODAY Sports
The team leaders are in place, so now the quest to improve the Jets begins. Mike Maccagnan has told the world that the Jets will explore all options to improving the Jets, and that includes free agency. He is excited that the team has cap space to work with, and he is eager to get going.
Though he wouldn’t talk about the Jets roster, Todd Bowles made one thing clear, that cornerbacks are important to him. We know the Jets have issues at the cornerback position. Whether you like any of them individually or not (I like Marcus Williams), as a group they need a boost. The Jets corners were hard to watch.
Here are some good, reasonably priced corners that would make a positive impact on the Jets next season.
Next: Antonio Cromartie
Dec 28, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerbackAntonio Cromartie
(31) runs through drills in warmups before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi
The obvious choice would be Antonio Cromartie. He’s a Jets fan favorite, and for good reason. In four years with the Jets, Cromartie posted 13 interceptions, three in 2013, despite being injured for most of the year. At 6’2″, Cromartie stands tall above many wide receivers in the league. He is only 30, but still clearly has something left, with three interceptions last season for Arizona.
Cromartie loved playing for Todd Bowles, and only made $3,500,000 last season. I don’t think it would take much of a raise to bring him back to the Jets.
Come home Cromartie, the Jets need you.
Next: Kareem Jackson
Dec 28, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans cornerbackJohnathan Joseph
(24) is congratulated by cornerbackKareem Jackson
(25) after making a defensive play during the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Kareem Jackson would be another excellent choice. Per Pro Football Focus, Jackson was the 11th ranked cornerback in the league. His overall grade was a 9.5, with a 9.6 in pass coverage. Take a look at Jackson’s statistics for his career so far:
Ten interceptions and 50 passes defended in five years in the league shows that Jackson can play. He’s only 26; his prime is on the horizon, and it could be spent with the Jets.
Jackson did come with a moderate cap hit last season, $4.3 million. At 26, he may take a raise to bring into New York, but with the cap space the Jets have, Jackson could just be the bigger ticket investment they need to make.
Next: Brandon Flowers
Nov 23, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers cornerbackBrandon Flowers
(26) in the field during the fourth quarter against the St. Louis Rams at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Another excellent choice would be Brandon Flowers. He was the 15th ranked cornerback on PFF, with an 8.2 overall grade. Here are his stats to date:
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Flowers has had a consistent career, and shows no sign of letting up. In 2014, his tackles were down, but Flowers rebounded to three interceptions after one the previous year, and 10 passes defended after eight the previous year. His cap number was $3,000,000 last season, which again is a moderate one for a cornerback.
He is 28 years old, and the Jets could easily fit him in under the budget, and he would immediately improve the Jets cornerback situation.
Next: Mike Jenkins
Sep 7, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiverKelvin Benjamin
(13) after making a catch in the end zone while being defended by Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerbackMike Jenkins
(24) during the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
One more guy I will give you is Mike Jenkins. Take a look at his career stats:
When Jenkins has been healthy, you can see that he can play. Jenkins posted eight interceptions in four years. He is only 29 years old, so he can be part of the Jets future. In the last few years, he has underperformed, and only costing $1.8 million against the cap last year, he could be had on the cheap.
He could be a free agency sleeper that could pay huge dividends with the Jets.
What do you guys think?