The NY Jets are finding themselves in a tough spot so far entering free agency. They might have to revamp their defensive line by acquiring defensive tackle Nick Fairley should key pieces no longer be around.
With just about $6M to play with entering free agency, general manager Mike Maccagnan will have his work cut out for him. The Jets will be losing several of their own eligible players to free agency since due to their 10-6 performance last season, they will have plenty of teams interested in the core of their successful athletes.
Of course not everything is greener on the other side but at the end of the day, it’s all about business. One of the core strengths of the team was with their defensive line, which might be losing one of its cornerstones or two this offseason. Defensive tackle Damon Harrison is expected to hit free agency and find a new team to play for willing to give him much more money and long-term security.
As reported by Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, the Jets have their sights set on Fairley as a contigency plan should Harrison bolt via free agency. Fairley would actually be a suitable replacement for Harrison thanks to everything he brings to the table.
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In his career so far in the NFL, Fairley has totaled 84 tackles, five forced fumbles and 14.0 sacks.
He had a down year last season with the Los Angeles Rams but on the defense of the Jets with all their savvy coaches and personalities, there is no doubt Fairley would thrive in the city that never sleeps.
With Muhammad Wilkerson franchise tagged by the Jets, there are plenty of scenarios that could involve him this offseason. It might be in the best interest of the Jets to even consider trading him for more draft picks and/or players to continue building this team into a contender.
If the Jets should find themselves without Harrison or Wilkerson holding down the fort on their defensive line, it would make a ton of sense to bring someone like Fairley into the mix to shore up the middle as he won’t cost much.
Considering he has five years experience in the NFL, he should fit in nicely and also help in the development of Leonard Williams entering his sophomore season.