New York Jets: Potential Free Agent Byron Maxwell


Dec 21, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback

Byron Maxwell

(41) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Seahawks defeated the Cardinals 35-6. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Chanukah in March is almost here (sorry folks I’m Jewish). The free agency period begins in two days, one of the most fun periods in the NFL off-season. Players will be changing teams left and right. Anyone not resigned by their former teams will be offering their services to the highest bidder. It’s a time where your team can get some important pieces to fix their roster quickly.

And the Jets actually have cap room to sign players. Good ones. Who’s pumped?

We know the Jets are going to be players in the cornerback market. We have seen the current crop of corners play. They need help, and the free agent class of cornerbacks has more than a couple of quality options.

As of yesterday, Kareem Jackson is off the market, signing a four-year deal to return to the Texans. I believe the Revis discussion is moot. Allowing Vince Wilfork to walk, combined with the news that Darrelle will sign with the Patriots if their offer is comparable, takes that debate off of the table in my mind.

This morning, let’s look at a guy that likely will be on the lips of the Jets staff as we move closer to Tuesday. We take a look at former Seahawks CB Byron Maxwell.

Next: Career Stats

Dec 14, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell (41) celebrates a fourth down stop against the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Here are Maxwell’s career stats to date:

Over the last two seasons, Maxwell has defended 24 passes, showing good timing and coverage ability.  He only picked off two passes last year, but did intercept four the year before.

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Remember, however, that interceptions are not always the best way to evaluate a cornerback, simply because they aren’t always tested. We remember the Revis years, where is interception numbers weren’t high, but he was still the best corner in the league.  Maxwell only picking off two passes last year isn’t an indicator of a horrible trend necessarily.

Let’s go further inside the numbers, courtesy of our favorite sabermetricians, Pro Football Focus.

Next: PFF Numbers

Sep 4, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver

Jordy Nelson

(87) runs past Seattle Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell (41) during the game at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated Green Bay 36-16. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

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On the previous page, we talked about cornerbacks not always being tested. The proof is in the numbers. In 2014, Byron Maxwell was only thrown at 45 times, ninth fewest in the NFL. Out of those 45 targets, receivers caught 23 passes, good for a 51.1% completion percentage, just outside the top ten lowest. Quarterbacks threw for a passer rating of 47.8, good for second in the NFL to his teammate, Richard Sherman.

Now that 47.8 passer rating is the number of a guy that can cover in the NFL.

Next: Financials

Nov 23, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell (41) defends against Arizona Cardinals receiver

Michael Floyd

(15) at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Byron Maxwell has not made a great deal of money by NFL standards so far. Over his first contract, Maxwell only averaged $538,000 per year. He was only guaranteed a little over $100,000, and made over $2 million for the life of the contract, a bargain for an effective corner in this league.

Coming off a good last two years with the Seahawks, Maxwell is set to be one of the most popular cornerbacks of this free agent class. The bidding could get pretty high, and the Jets may eventually find it too rich and back out. In my opinion, this is one of the guys to really go after.

The Jets have the money. Let’s right the wrongs of John Idzik and bring in a guy of Byron Maxwell’s caliber.

Next: Thoughts on Brandon Marshall and David Harris