The New York Jets front office still faces several questions regarding the team ahead of its upcoming training camp.
Believe it or not, training camp is right around the corner. The Jets host their first public practice on July 27th, less than 3 weeks away. That being said, there are still a few questions the team may have to answer by the beginning of the season.
The Jets made a front office switch at an odd time. The timing made it difficult for new GM Joe Douglas to make any significant roster changes when he took over the role of Mike Maccagnan. Maccagnan did a solid job setting the team up for future success, but there are still questions that need answering.
Addressing the Cornerback Position
The Jets let two of their three starting cornerbacks walk during free agency. Morris Claiborne and Buster Skrine both hit the open market, and the Jets didn’t make much of an effort to re sign either of them. Skrine signed with the Chicago Bears, while Claiborne still remains unsigned.
The Jets filled Claiborne’s spot with Darryl Roberts, who started several games last season in light of Trumaine Johnson and Marcus Maye’s injuries. Roberts did a solid job when he was put into the starting roles, but can he maintain solid play for a full season?
Roberts isn’t a weak link in the secondary. He can hold his own as a CB2, which he proved last year. The issue for the Jets is the players that come after Roberts on the depth chart. Outside of Johnson and Roberts, their unit is very thin.
Roberts was essential last year as a utility player for the Jets’ secondary last season. Whenever somebody went down, Roberts stepped in and did well playing in their place. Now, with Roberts having a full-time starting job, the Jets’ first backup will likely be Derrick Jones.
Jones has impressed in previous training camps and preseasons, but as he heads into his third season, it’s unclear if he’s developed enough to line up in-game against NFL receivers. Jones is basically the only viable backup for the Jets at cornerback, which has caused concern for many.
There aren’t many great options left on the market, but there are definitely ways to improve their depth. Claiborne and DeShawn Shead highlight the remaining corners left in free agency. Even if it’s just for training camp competition, the Jets should bring in a couple cornerbacks to strengthen their depth in that regard.
The Battle of Returners
The Jets let their Pro Bowl kick/punt returner Andre Roberts walk in free agency, and now the starting job for return man is open for the taking. Nobody has a significant lead in the position battle, and there’ll be plenty of guys going for the job.
Elijah McGuire, Ty Montgomery, Quadree Henderson, Trent Cannon, Jamison Crowder and Greg Dortch will all make their efforts to become the team’s new return man, and the job is certainly for the taking.
Cannon will likely get his shot at taking over, as he did in the 2018 preseason. Montgomery and Crowder have put up solid numbers as a returner before coming to the Jets this offseason. Henderson and Dortch both showed flashes as excellent returners during their college days. This race is wide open, and it’s one to watch throughout training camp.