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Jets should target tight end Gary Barnidge

Oct 23, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns tight end Gary Barnidge (82) is tackled by Cincinnati Bengals free safety George Iloka (43) in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 23, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns tight end Gary Barnidge (82) is tackled by Cincinnati Bengals free safety George Iloka (43) in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
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With the surprising release of tight end Gary Barnidge by the Cleveland Browns, the New York Jets should do everything in their power to bring him to the city that never sleeps.

The Cleveland Browns drafted University of Miami tight end David Njoku and it didn’t take long for them to part ways with their previous tight end. Gary Barnidge was released by Cleveland and will now become a free agent. Barnidge’s prime was short-lived, as the 31-year-old tight end had a breakout year two seasons ago at the age of 30, with over 1,000 yards receiving on the year and nine touchdowns.

After showing a significant decline only one year later, with only 612 yards and two touchdowns, the Browns drafted Njoku as his replacement. While he may have lost a step two years removed from his 1,000-yard season, Barnidge still has a few productive years left in the tank.

For years, the Jets have had a giant hole in their roster at the tight end position, limiting their offensive success. A big tight end, like Barnidge, whom can be found in the middle of the field, could greatly benefit a young quarterback like Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg. Not only that but he could also open things up for their receivers by demanding some attention from a defense.

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Barnidge, coming off a down year, could be available to the Jets at a relatively cheap price tag for what he’d bring to the table. With a slim crop of tight ends available as free-agents, Barnidge makes the most sense for the Jets as far as price-tag and length of contract go.

The Jets have announced that there will be an “open competition” for the starting quarterback job between Petty, Hackenberg and Josh McCown. Although, no matter who ends up under center for the Jets, it is most certain that they will find great difficulty moving the football offensively without a viable option at tight end. By signing Barnidge, the Jets would be making their offense better instantly. If the Jets really want to allow their two young quarterbacks, Petty and Hackenberg, to have the best chance to succeed, they will go out and sign

By signing Barnidge, the Jets would be making their offense instantly better. If the Jets really want to allow their two young quarterbacks, Petty and Hackenberg, to have the best chance to succeed, they will go out and sign Barnidge to be their starting tight end in 2017.

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