The New York Jets are in dire need of a premier pass rusher as they should pursue defensive end Demarcus Lawrence in free agency this offseason.
What was once considered a strength on the New York Jets defense has turned into a major area of opportunity. The Jets defensive line doesn’t resemble the sheer dominance that many fans enjoyed over the years as players have come and gone but the lack of overall pass rush is concerning, to say the least.
The Jets have parted ways with players that made the defensive line among the best in the NFL and now are back to square one. With the Jets more than likely releasing defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, it will easily leave a void at the positional group that will need to be filled.
Luckily for the Jets, a premier pass rushing defensive end is more than likely heading to free agency this offseason. That’s right, should Demarcus Lawrence hit free agency, he’ll easily be among the top defensive players that teams will be rushing to acquire thanks to everything he brings to the table.
Set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, Lawrence is coming off a career-year with the Dallas Cowboys. In 2017, Lawrence totaled 36 tackles, four forced fumbles, and 14.5 sacks. Imagine having that kind of impact player on the Jets defensive line to wreak havoc for years to come?
The Jets are slowly but surely building the right pieces on defense to once again have one that’s capable of stopping even the best offensive teams from keeping those chains moving. They got it right at safety thanks to the tandem of Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye but in the grand scheme of things, they need to bolster their defensive line this offseason so everything comes together and more importantly, they can consistently get to the opposing quarterback.
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There is hope that last season was an anomaly for defensive end Leonard Williams since he not only dealt with a lingering wrist injury but was double teamed a lot, hence his lackluster numbers. Considering that he’s just coming off his third season in the NFL, means he still has some adjusting to get used to. Combining him with Lawrence could potentially fix that since now opponents have to prepare for both defensive ends.
Of course, Lawrence will command some serious money if he hits free agency but the Jets will have that kind of salary cap room to see if a deal can be made. Once the Jets start making some calculated roster cuts to get even more salary cap space, they could very well have over $100 million to play with. Pass rush, besides their quarterback and offensive line situations, is a top priority this offseason that by making a move and acquiring Lawrence would boost the Jets defense tremendously.
Overall, if Lawrence hits free agency, the Jets must absolutely pursue him since he would address their lack of pass rush and his presence alone would be huge on defense. He’s a premier pass rusher that has yet to hit his prime years of football and if he makes the jump to the city that never sleeps, would be a household name for years to come. Lawrence will be expensive but to get that kind of production on the Jets defense and continue rebuilding the right way with young players like him will undoubtedly be worth every penny.