The free agent period is set to kick off in a couple of weeks and the New York Jets will have a few in-house players among the top names on the open market.
The New York Jets will be looking to spend their excess cap space on some of the best players available in free agency this offseason. Big-name players such as Le’Veon Bell, Matt Paradis, and Trey Flowers will be among the better free agents available and the Jets will be one of the many teams looking to acquire their services.
But the Jets will have some of their own free agents to worry about.
NFL.com recently released a list of their Top 101 Free Agents and four current Jets players find themselves on the list. Although none are ranked inside the top 50, they at least have more than their division rivals, the Buffalo Bills, whose lone entry is the No. 82 ranked Jordan Phillips who didn’t even begin the season with them.
Coming in as the Jets highest ranked free agent is defensive lineman Henry Anderson who ranks 53rd. Anderson was acquired from the Indianapolis Colts in a draft day trade that saw the Jets give up just a seventh-round selection. The Stanford product had a breakout 2018 campaign tying for the team-lead in sacks with seven.
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Next on the list, just two spots below Anderson is cornerback Morris Claiborne. Claiborne finished up his second season in the green and white in 2017 and surprisingly ranks ahead of a pair of “Jasons” in proven commodities Jason Verrett and Jason McCourty. Perhaps injuries and age are a factor with the latter two but it’s not as if Claiborne has either of those things going for him.
Dropping all the way down to No. 97 is where the next Jets free agent comes in with left guard James Carpenter. Carpenter is likely the most surprising addition to this list as his play has dropped off significantly in the past two seasons. Perhaps he could still find a starting job on some team but at the soon-to-be age of 30, it won’t be with the Jets.
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Lastly, kicker Jason Myers ranks as the No. 99 free agent according to NFL.com. Myers was one of the biggest surprises of last season securing a Pro Bowl nod in a breakout season. It’s expected that the Jets will make an effort to bring him back for 2019, although regression should be expected.
Out of all the players on this list, it’s most likely the Jets look to re-sign Anderson and Myers given that they both far exceeded expectations last season. The market for Anderson might get quite large, but expect the Jets to definitely make a push for his return.
On the other hand, Carpenter will almost certainly not be back as his tenure with the team looks to be all but over. There’s still a chance the Jets could re-sign Claiborne but look for them to assess their options on the open market and in the draft.
The most notable exclusion from the list is slot cornerback Buster Skrine although his play in recent years should give a pretty good idea as to why he was left off.
While it isn’t the most star-studded class of in-house free agents for the Jets, these are a few noteworthy names to watch as we inch closer to the re-signing period.