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New York Jets: Top five free agent targets the team should explore

By Genna Preston
CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 04: Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs into the endzone for a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium on December 4, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 04: Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs into the endzone for a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium on December 4, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) /
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CINCINNATI, OH – DECEMBER 04: Le’Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs into the endzone for a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium on December 4, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH – DECEMBER 04: Le’Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs into the endzone for a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium on December 4, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) /

With free agency around the corner, we explore the top five candidates that the New York Jets should consider for their 2019 roster.

Although the New York Jets season ended several weeks ago, free agency officially starts in March. The Jets have a ton of restricted and unrestricted free agents on their roster.

Some of the big named players include Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, Bilal Powell, Steve McLendon, and Rontez Miles.

Currently, the Jets have a little over $100 million in cap space. Ideally, the Jets should focus on some big playmakers during free agency in order to fill immediate voids, so they can focus their efforts on building players from this year’s draft class.

Based on the Jets needs and this year’s free agents, I have identified five key players the Jets should consider adding to their 2019 roster. Without further ado, here are the top five players.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JANUARY 13: Mark Ingram #22 of the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Divisional Playoff at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 13, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JANUARY 13: Mark Ingram #22 of the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Divisional Playoff at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 13, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

5. Mark Ingram, RB New Orleans Saints

Mark Ingram is a great potential running back candidate. With him being 29 years old, and coming off of a not so spectacular season, the Jets would probably obtain him at a decent price.

Before Alvin Kamara took over the New Orleans Saints, it was Ingram who was the lead man in the backfield. The man had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2016 and 2017.

I’m sure you all remember Ingram against the Jets in 2017. He literally made Saints history by scoring two touchdowns, with one being a 50-yard run.

He has said he hopes to stay with the Saints, but with Kamara’s performance, you never know. A playmaker like him would do the Jets some justice.

Next: 4. A talented defensive end to throw into the mix

CHICAGO, IL – DECEMBER 09: Mitchell Trubisky #10 of the Chicago Bears reiwa to pass under pressure fromDante Fowler #56 of the Los Angeles Rams at Soldier Field on December 9, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL – DECEMBER 09: Mitchell Trubisky #10 of the Chicago Bears reiwa to pass under pressure fromDante Fowler #56 of the Los Angeles Rams at Soldier Field on December 9, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

4. Dante Fowler, DE Los Angeles Rams

Dante Fowler is one of those players you have to look ahead with. He does come with some high risks, as his personal life involves legal troubles.

Since being drafted in 2015, he’s showed some signs of greatness but just hasn’t gotten there yet. With a dedicated coaching staff, Fowler could be the next best defensive end.

Fowler is also no stranger to the Jets organization. The Jets had interest in Fowler before the trade deadline and during last year’s offseason.

If the Jets make defensive offseason moves, they could focus on the offensive line during the draft. Fowler would be the right direction to go financially and athletically.

Next: 3. This EDGE is a previous Pro Bowler

ARLINGTON, TX – JANUARY 04: Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys tries to avoid the pressure by Ezekiel Ansah #94 of the Detroit Lions during the second half of their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 4, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX – JANUARY 04: Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys tries to avoid the pressure by Ezekiel Ansah #94 of the Detroit Lions during the second half of their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 4, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images) /

3. Ezekiel Ansah, EDGE Detroit Lions

Ezekiel Ansah is a player I had to add to this list, even though he is a risky choice. This past season he fell short having been injured and then placed on the injured reserve list.

Ansah had knee surgery, and then during the season hurt his shoulder. With this in mind, the Detroit Lions may decide to move on from the Pro Bowl player.

Since 2013, he started in 73-of-80 games. Ansah had 10 forced fumbles and 48 sacks. Ansah also had 218 total tackles with 162 of them being solo and 62 being for loss.

If the Lions move on from Ansah, the Jets should consider him. Not to mention, his value has probably decreased with all of the injuries, making this a cost-effective choice for the Jets.

Next: 2. This running back will compliment Sam Darnold

2. Le’Veon Bell, RB Pittsburgh Steelers

I couldn’t create this list without adding Le’Veon Bell to the mix. After all, what team wouldn’t want Bell?

With all of the controversy happening with the Pittsburgh Steelers, it’s safe to assume Bell will be moving on from the team. The Jets need a big playmaker like Bell to help out their offense.

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Bell is a running back that plays a receiver role at times. He will help take the pressure off Sam Darnold and really impact the offense.

Skeptics criticize that Bell hasn’t played in a year. However, Bell was injured a few years ago and didn’t play. Then, when he was supposed to return he was suspended for four games. His first game back, Bell totaled over 100 yards and had two touchdowns.

He also had 1,000-yard rushing seasons in 2016 and 2017. The Jets have the money to obtain Bell, it’s just a matter of if they will add this playmaker to their roster.

Next: 1. Even his name says he's a golden option

PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 03: Wide receiver Golden Tate #19 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates with teammates after making a catch for a 2-point conversion against the Washington Redskins during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on December 3, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 03: Wide receiver Golden Tate #19 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates with teammates after making a catch for a 2-point conversion against the Washington Redskins during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on December 3, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

1. Golden Tate, WR Philadelphia Eagles

The Jets have a ton of wide receivers entering free agency. The team has Jermaine Kearse, Quincy Enunwa, Andre Roberts, Rishard Matthews, and Robby Anderson, who is a restricted free agent.

It’s safe to say, the Jets should acquire a wide receiver in the offseason. That’s where Golden Tate steps in.

Tate has had an interesting season, having been with the Lions for the past four years. He was a great slot receiver until being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Next. Senior Bowl Standouts

Although he didn’t produce much with the Eagles, his previous performances suggest he is a great option. He is a little old, so the Jets should acquire him on a short-term contract for a decent price.

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