NY Jets: Prince Amukamara is an ideal free agent target
By Justin Fried
The NY Jets will be looking to upgrade at the cornerback position in the offseason and veteran Prince Amukamara could be an ideal free-agent target.
The NY Jets have plenty of holes to address on their roster this offseason with one of their most pressing needs at cornerback. Fortunately, the recent release of former Chicago Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara could help the team address that need.
Cornerback was one of the Jets’ biggest concerns going into the 2019 season. Instead of beefing up the position in the offseason, the team decided to rely on the duo of Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts last year.
Needless to say, it didn’t work out.
With both of those players expected to be cut in the coming weeks, and with very little proven options on the roster, the Jets feasibly need two new starters on the outside for 2020.
Sixth-round rookie Blessuan Austin showed promise last season, but given his extensive injury history and limited game action, it seems unwise to count on him as a full-time starter next year. He could be one day, but he’s likely not there just yet.
That means that on top of re-signing standout nickel cornerback Brian Poole, the Jets need two new starters on the boundary. That’s where Prince Amukamara could come in to play.
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The former Nebraska star was recently released by the Chicago Bears on Friday as a cost-cutting move but he’s expected to have quite the market as a veteran starter.
Amukamara has spent the last three seasons with the Bears serving as an admirable starting option. The 2011 first-round pick has started 42 games over the last three years and served as a starter in both Jacksonville and with the New York Giants in prior seasons.
Last year, Amukamara finished with a very competent 68.2 Pro Football Focus grade which was leaps and bounds ahead of the likes of Johnson and Roberts. Austin and Maurice Canady finished with slightly higher grades, but in significantly less playing time.
Since he was released before the start of the new league year on March 18th, Amukamara will be free to sign with any team even before free agents file. That means that the Jets — or any team for that matter — could get a head start on signings.
Amukamara is a perfect veteran stop-gap at a major position of need who will help fill a significant hole for the next couple of seasons if signed. There should be a market for him, but the Jets are likely to be one of the primary teams interested in the coming weeks.
The fit is obvious and the need is glaring. It’s time to bring Prince Amukamara back to East Rutherford.