NY Jets must avoid these 3 potential busts in free agency in 2020
By Paul A. Esden Jr.
The NY Jets have money to spend in the upcoming free agency period. Here are the top 3 potential bust candidates they should avoid.
Over the years free agency has proven to be a perfect avenue for an NFL team to reverse its misfortunes. Although for the New York Jets more times than not it has resulted in quite the opposite.
Most recently the team doled out north of $72 million to then free-agent cornerback Trumaine Johnson. He was supposed to end the team’s woes at corner, instead, he was a nightmare and a locker room cancer.
Trumaine spent two uneventful years with the Jets that featured blown coverages, an embarrassing work ethic, and hell he was even benched a handful of times for his poor play.
This most recent stain has struck fear into NY Jets fans that another free agency disaster is right around the corner. To provide the team some help in this regard, we dug up three potential bust candidates ahead of this year’s free agency that the NY Jets should steer clear from.
Next: 3. NYJ must avoid this reunion
The NY Jets need cornerback help this offseason. Especially with how the Trumaine Johnson thing unfolded a few years ago. There are some promising pieces on the roster that overperformed in 2019, but the team can’t rely on that moving forward.
Eli Apple is a veteran cornerback that’ll turn 25 by the start of the 2020 season. The former top-10 pick of the New York Giants has bounced around the league since those days including his most recent stint with the New Orleans Saints.
It makes a ton of sense that the Jets would be interested: he’s young, they have a need, and they could bring him back to New York for a reunion.
Despite those fun reasons, the Jets should stay far away from Eli Apple.
Here’s a nugget via Bleacher Report on how Apple ended the 2019 season:
“In Weeks 10-16, he was targeted 40 times and allowed 27 catches, for a 67.5 percent catch rate. He also committed six penalties, which was tied for the fourth-most among corners in that span.”
Eli just gives up too many big plays and the team would be overpaying for average talent. Often that’s how the free agency process works, with teams overpaying for talent.
Next: 2. Dodge the temptation
Another big-time need for the NY Jets is on the edge. They haven’t really invested many resources into the position ever since they selected one of the biggest busts in modern NFL Draft history, Vernon Gholston, out of Ohio State.
That mistake has struck fear throughout the organization and the team is scared to make the same mistake again.
There’s a fine line between playing to win and playing not to lose.
It’s time for the Jets to solve this need once and for all whether that be in free agency or the 2020 NFL Draft.
In free agency, there will be plenty of temptations to try to quick-fix the problem. Perhaps the biggest name out there will be Jadeveon Clowney.
The former No. 1 overall pick is a splashy name that has made splashy plays throughout his career. Although the thing that is lacking from his resume is consistency.
Heck, the only thing that Clowney has been consistent at is his lack of double-digit sack seasons. Despite playing six years in the league, Jadeveon has never once reached the 10 sack floor which is a common barometer for judging a player’s status among his peers.
In fairness, getting sacks isn’t the only thing you can judge a pass rusher by, but Jets fans have had enough of “quarterback pressures”. The time for excuse-making is over, the Jets need a real edge rusher that can actually sack the quarterback, not another Leonard Williams.
Next: 1. NYJ shouldn't go OL?
The NY Jets have over $60 million in cap space currently and could have north of $80 million if they play their cards right. That means the team will have a burning sensation in their pockets to fill a litany of needs
Arguably the biggest need on the team is on the offensive line.
When Gang Green hits free agency they’ll have several holes to fill including left tackle, left guard, center, right guard. If they retain any of their pending free agents like Kelvin Beachum or Alex Lewis that’ll at least plug some.
DJ Humphries will be a very attractive option on the free-agent market. He’s only 26 years old, has versatility (can play both on the left and right side), and those types of players usually don’t make it to free agency.
People within the NY Jets organization are infatuated with Chuma Edoga and many believe he’s the right tackle of the future. With that being the case, the team would only be looking at potential left tackles in free agency.
The problem with DJ is durability. In the last five years, he has missed 37 games and the Jets shouldn’t be paying for those kinds of issues. The team would be better served to fix their left tackle need with the 11th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.