The NY Jets have a ton of cap space heading into 2020 free agency. Here are three names the team should keep a close eye on that’ll slip under the radar.
The NY Jets once again enter free agency with millions of dollars in its bank account. With an array of needs it’s a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’ the team will spend all of it when the free agency frenzy period begins in earnest in a few weeks.
Although Gang Green has made it a habit to pay older stars based on what they did in the past instead of what they can do in the future in years past. That has cost this team dearly and it’s time to stop the madness.
Thankfully the NY Jets are under a new regime with Joe Douglas entering technically his second year, but this free agency and draft period will be his first opportunity to make the big boy decisions.
Although before an overwhelming amount of money is thrown around, here are three under the radar free agents that the team should do its homework on. Realistically the Jets could sign all of them this offseason and they wouldn’t necessarily break the bank.
Next: 3. Jets address need at CB
The #Jets Zone w/ @BoyGreen25 feat. @nyjets team reporter @EGreenbergJets:– What kinds of players will Joe Douglas be looking for this offseason?– Who are some names to watch at the #NFLCombine?– Cool anecdotes on top #NFLDraft prospects.#TakeFlight https://t.co/RAjjBLcZVT
— The Jets Zone (@TheJets_Zone) February 19, 2020
One of the most underrated needs for the NY Jets this offseason is at corner. With so many other overwhelming needs on the team, it’s understandable how this is flying under the radar.
Although this need can’t be ignored this offseason. Gregg Williams did a masterful job with making chicken salad out of chicken s***, but he shouldn’t have to do that every year.
With Trumaine Johnson on his way out the door, that creates an even bigger void for the team to fill this offseason. Johnson simply never lived up to the billing as a No. 1 corner.
With Brian Poole heading towards unrestricted free agency, the team should be in desperation mode to improve the backend of its defense.
The projected starting corners if the season started today for Gang Green would be Bless Austin, Arthur Maulet, and Darryl Roberts. Austin and Maulet were nice stories last year, but that shouldn’t dissuade the Jets from investigating the open market and looking at the 2020 NFL Draft. Additionally, Roberts could be a cap casualty.
James Bradberry won’t be the top corner available on the market but he’s young (26, will be 27 by the start of the 2020 season) and he’s coming off his best year as a pro (three interceptions).
Young versatile players will get paid in free agency, but the NY Jets would be wise to fully investigate this and jump on it early during the process.
Next: 2. An underrated pass rusher from Tampa
Probably not the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass rusher you were expecting is it?
Shaquil Barrett, the NFL’s reigning sack leader from 2019, will be paid handsomely this offseason. The NY Jets, if they want to spend a lot of moolah, should be doing their due diligence.
Although this is a column depicting “under-the-radar” free agents that the NY Jets should consider, not guys that’ll be flying above-the-radar.
Carl Nassib would be a fascinating addition for the NY Jets this offseason.
After flaming out with the Cleveland Browns a few years ago and making a celebrity appearance on HBO’s Hard Knocks, Carl Nassib found a new home with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
His stats won’t wow you (12.5 sacks in two years), but he’s a smart player that would plug and play on Gregg Williams defense.
A good example is Jordan Jenkins, who is a pending free agent for the Jets. He won’t ever be a guy that’ll consistently snag double-digit sacks, but he’s a guy that’ll do all the right things and will find a way to stumble into seven to nine sacks each season.
Those are good guys to have on the team. Everyone has a role to play and if they do their job it’ll open up other things on defense.
Carl Nassib isn’t going to cost you the farm, but it would be a seamless fit on this defense with his smarts, versatility, and competitiveness.
Next: 1. Take a flier on a talented WR
Hey we can’t let the defense have all the fun, can we? Time to help out Sam Darnold and this high flying NY Jets offense.
Devin Funchess is a worthwhile gamble in a very weak receiver free-agent class. It’s filled with either old guys, one-dimensional guys, or bad scheme fits. Funchess fits the bill for what Gang Green is looking for this offseason.
After four years with the Carolina Panthers, Devin Funchess was hoping to cash in on free agency last year. To Funchess’ and his agents’ surprise, NFL teams weren’t willing to pay a premium price for his services so he decided to bet on himself.
Devin signed a one-year prove-it deal with the Indianapolis Colts.
On the surface, it made sense, put up video game numbers on a one-year deal with the high flying Colts offense led by MVP candidate Andrew Luck. The only problem was Luck shocked the football world by retiring right before the 2019 football season.
In addition to that bit of bad news, Funchess dealt with the injury bug. On September 10 he was placed on injured reserve with a broken collarbone which ended his season before it really began.
Now Funchess is in a tough spot. He bet on himself and unfortunately, it didn’t pan out so now Devin has to think what’s next?
The NY Jets should sign him to a three-year deal filled with incentives based on playing time (protect themselves from injury issues) and to incentive Funchess to reach his full potential as a player with escalators based on receptions, yards, and touchdowns.
Devin is 6-foot-4, 225 pounds of man. He would provide a unique perspective to the NY Jets wide receiver room and could be the No. 1 wide receiver the team has been searching for.