The NY Jets are about to take part in what should be a very eventful free agency period. Based on various reports, these three players seem most likely to sign with Gang Green.
The NY Jets are mere hours away from what is expected to be one of the more exciting free-agent periods in recent memory. And after last season’s spending spree, the Jets will certainly have a hard act to follow.
Nonetheless, general manager Joe Douglas will do what he can this offseason to set the franchise up for success in both the short-term and the long-term. They may not spend as much as last year, but expect the Jets to be very active.
Of course, the team would love to land all of their top targets, but that just isn’t realistic. While it would be great to see players like Byron Jones, Amari Cooper, and Joe Thuney sign contracts with the Jets in the coming days, that isn’t going to happen.
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That doesn’t mean they won’t make a major splash or two, but it is wise to curb expectations. After all, the Jets aren’t the only team vying for the top names on the market.
Various rumors and reports have speculated about which players the Jets will be targeting and which they have a realistic chance of signing.
With that, let’s take a look at the three free agents the Jets are most likely to re-sign.
Next: 3. Graham Glasgow
3. Graham Glasgow, OG/C
Joe Douglas has made it clear that the offensive line remains the Jets’ top priority this offseason. Fortunately, this year’s crop of free agents is stacked with many excellent offensive line options.
Of course, the Jets would love to land Joe Thuney. He remains the top interior offensive lineman on the market and is one of the very best pending free agents available. However, the bidding war could get incredibly high for him.
Thuney could be looking for more than $15 million per season and with over half the NFL’s teams expected to be interested, it will be very difficult to land him.
If the Jets can’t sign Thuney, expect them to immediately pivot for Graham Glasgow. In fact, the two likely aren’t mutually exclusive either.
Douglas has iterated that he values durability and versatility among prospective free agents and Glasgow perfectly fits that bill.
The 27-year-old has spent the last four seasons starting for the Detroit Lions after originally entering the league as a third-round pick back in 2016. Over those four seasons, Glasgow has missed just two games while showing off his versatility.
The Michigan product has started at every position on the interior playing primarily at left guard and center — the latter where he’s spent the last two seasons as Detroit’s starter.
With the Jets needing an upgrade at all three spots, Glasgow would be a perfect fit for what Douglas is looking for.
The reported interest is there and Douglas has planted the seeds with his previously stated interests. Thuney might be too expensive, but Glasgow seems like the perfect free-agent fit for Gang Green.
Next: 2. Breshad Perriman
2. Breshad Perriman, WR
The Jets don’t only have to worry about exploring their options on the open market, but retaining their own internal free agents. Perhaps their most important remains wide receiver Robby Anderson.
Douglas and company want Anderson back, but an expected bidding war could prevent them from doing so. Reports are split on exactly what Anderson will command, but if it’s anything north of $12-13 million per year, expect the Jets to drop out of the race.
Unfortunately, the Jets are already incredibly thin at the receiver position and losing Anderson will create just another hole. The 2020 NFL Draft will be crucial for addressing that spot, but the team could also do some damage in free agency.
While the aforementioned Amari Cooper remains their preferred option, the expected price tag will likely be too much. But one player who makes sense as a fallback plan is Breshad Perriman.
Perriman revitalized his career last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finishing with 36 catches for 645 yards and six touchdowns. This came after the 2015 first-round pick was labeled a bust after a failed two-year tenure in Baltimore.
But with Tampa, Perriman showed the potential he once flashed while in college at UCF. Perriman could be the downfield deep threat that the Jets will be lacking if Anderson walks.
He may not be at the same level as Anderson, but he will fill the same role and give the Jets an affordable, explosive contributor on offense. The real work could then come in the 2020 NFL Draft, but Perriman would be a solid starting point.
And given the reported interest the Jets have in him, this seems like a very plausible signing that could occur in Stage 2 of free agency.
Next: 1. Jack Conklin
1. Jack Conklin, OT
The reported ties between the Jets and Jack Conklin date back a couple of months now, and it seems certain that the team is prepared to make a serious run at the former All-Pro offensive tackle.
Conklin is the top name on a stacked offensive line class and will likely command a significant chunk of money. But it seems as though the Jets are prepared to spend in a big way if it means signing him.
Kristian Dyer of Sports Illustrated reported on Sunday that Conklin is expected to be the first call that Joe Douglas makes as he remains perhaps the team’s top priority.
“He will be the first call, I am confident saying that. Joe wants him and likes him a lot. He won’t be cheap but he’s prepared to make a good run at him. I am guessing half the league will want him.”
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Other reports seem to back up the Jets’ interest in the talented offensive lineman despite the fact that it will be incredibly expensive. Now, Conklin is a very solid tackle who excels as a run blocker, but his pass protection should have teams a bit worried.
It’s worth wondering if Conklin would be worth the hefty price tag the Jets would have to pay him. Despite his age and durability, there are concerns about paying a good-not-great player superstar money.
Regardless, it appears as though the Jets are prepared to go all-in on the former Michigan State standout, for better or worse.
If the Jets are going to make any huge splash in free agency this offseason, Conklin seems to be the most likely candidate.