Top 5 moves the Jets must make in free agency
Aug 20, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon (8) drops to throw a pass during the third quarter of a football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Jets are set to hit free agency this week looking to address some of their major roster needs. It should be another fun-filled frenzy for Gang Green.
When all is said and done, the New York Jets are hoping to add a few quality players to their team via the free agency period. It starts on Thursday, March 9th, 2017 at 4:00 PM Eastern Time and promises to be another crazy event with the top free agents of the NFL finding new homes and cashing in some pretty big contracts.
At this point in time, the Jets have some major roster needs to be addressed. Of course, the top teams in the NFL know that to build a contender, it’s a mix of free agents and promising young stars from the 2017 NFL Draft.
For a team as bad as the Jets, they need a plethora of help from both. While the Jets shouldn’t spend a ton of money in free agency, adding some talent for their offensive line, defensive secondary, and even at quarterback will help get the team back on the right track.
It won’t be easy, but here are the top five moves the Jets need to make once the free agency period begins.
Next: 5. Add an offensive playmaker
Jan 1, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon (88) runs with the ball as New York Giants linebacker Devon Kennard (59) attempts the tackle in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. The Giants won 19-10. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
5. Add an offensive playmaker
If it’s one thing the Jets completely and utterly failed in last season, was their pathetic attempts at scoring touchdowns. It’s hard to believe but numerous times the Jets had to settle for a field goal when they were 1st and goal in scoring position. Too many times they simply couldn’t get the job done.
Since the NFL is a passing league, it’s important that the Jets have some offensive playmakers that can ball out. Since the Jets have been purging their roster this offseason, they need to bring in better talent that can keep those chains moving on offense.
The Jets already have a nice wide receiver corps that’s filled with young talent ready to make a name for themselves. But they need a veteran presence that can consistently produce, especially since wide receiver Brandon Marshall is out the picture.
Free agents like Pierre Garcon, Kamar Aiken, or even Ted Ginn would be quality acquisitions that shouldn’t break the bank. Another playmaking wide receiver is exactly what the Jets need to at least have a fighting chance at winning some football games come next season.
Next: 4. Bring in another running back
Dec 24, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Rex Burkhead (33) runs with the ball during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
4. Bring in another running back
The Jets have a good thing going at the moment with their dual-headed rushing attack in Matt Forte and Bilal Powell. The only problem is both have a history of getting injured which doesn’t bode well to expect them playing all of next season fully healthy.
Heading into the free agency period, the Jets should bring in another running back for depth purposes and well, ensure that everyone stays fresh all season long. A versatile running back that not only would push the envelope but also add a quality receiving option out of the backfield is ideal here.
It’s hard to predict what will happen at quarterback next season but no matter what, committing to the running game will only help the Jets offense. It will help win the time of possession battle while also alleviating the pressure off of the passing game.
Free agent running backs like Rex Burkhead, Jacquizz Rodgers, or even Andre Ellington would be ideal free agent acquisitions for the Jets. Someone that can step right in and take care of business to spell relief for Forte and Powell.
Next: 3. Bolstering an incomplete offensive line
3. Bolstering an incomplete offensive line
The Jets know that at the end of the day, the battle of the trenches is what ultimately wins football games. Their offensive line, to say the least, is incomplete as it’s in dire need of better talent.
Free agency is a time to find the diamonds in the rough before throwing huge amounts of money at the biggest names. The Jets would be wise to find offensive linemen that are capable of playing multiple positions across the line so it doesn’t miss a beat.
Having areas of opportunity at center and offensive tackle, the Jets should bolster their offensive line with free agents that are still young with plenty of potential for the future. Players like J.C. Tretter, Stefen Wisniewski, or even Ted Larsen fit the kind of versatility role the Jets should be looking for.
Make no mistake about it, if the Jets can land a top free agent offensive lineman and mix in drafted talent, their offensive line will be good to go not only for next season but for years to come. It’s important to address this need now to ensure a better future when it comes to the Jets offensive line.
Next: 2. Bringing in a high-quality cornerback
Oct 24, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Houston Texans cornerback A.J. Bouye (21) in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
2. Bringing in a high-quality cornerback
This is an area the Jets will undoubtedly have to spend a good amount of money on to address. Last season, the Jets defensive secondary got absolutely torched by opponents. They had no aggression, execution, or even focus to stop even the most basic passing attacks coming their way.
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Come free agency, the Jets need to invest top money into a premier cornerback. This isn’t an area to be cheap on, especially since the Jets have a void to fill with the release of cornerback Darrelle Revis.
The Jets need to bring in a high-quality cornerback that is not only an instant starter but brings a good locker room presence into the mix. Players like A.J. Bouye, Logan Ryan, or even Stephon Gilmore.
If the Jets can add a high-quality cornerback and also draft another to develop over the time, it’ll be one of the best moves they can make in free agency. Since the NFL is a passing league, it’s imperative to bolster their defensive secondary with talent that is capable of stopping even the best quarterbacks in the league coming their way.
Next: 1. Bring in a veteran quarterback
Sep 25, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer (2) throws a pass in the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
1. Bring in a veteran quarterback
When it comes to quarterbacks, it’s important to bring in a veteran option that can help mentor both Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. If the Jets are smart, they’ll have a real quarterback competition come training with the best player earning the starting position.
The Jets need to know what they ultimately have in Petty and Hackenberg and they won’t get their answers unless one of them gets a significant amount of playing time next season. In free agency, the Jets need to get a veteran quarterback that can help them out and also step in if needed to be a game manager.
It wouldn’t make sense for the Jets to get a band-aid quarterback to start next season by automatically giving them the job. It’s best to sign someone in free agency like Mike Glennon, Brian Hoyer, or even Matt Schaub that will compete but ultimately help groom the young quarterbacks of the Jets for the next year or so.
Next: Bowles must lay the hammer down with the Jets in 2017
With a huge question mark at quarterback, the Jets need to bring just one other option and let them all duke it out in a competition to find the best player that will put them in a position to win football games. Having a veteran quarterback as insurance is a great thing to have since one never knows what can happen during the regular season.