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NY Jets: Evaluating how Joe Douglas has handled free agency

NY Jets (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
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This free agency period is Joe Douglas’s first as a general manager. How has he handled the start of his first full offseason with the NY Jets?

The NY Jets‘ biggest priority this offseason was to improve the offensive line. Joe Douglas did just that by retaining guard Alex Lewis and signing four other offensive linemen in Connor McGovern, Greg Van Roten, George Fant, and Josh Andrews.

Connor McGovern was an excellent signing. The Jets were able to sign him to a three-year deal and he will only be 27 years of age when the upcoming season starts.

This past season, on 609 pass-blocking snaps, McGovern allowed only one sack and just three quarterback hits. McGovern was the only one of 34 centers this season that played at least 500 snaps to not be penalized once.

After Lewis’ lone season with the Jets, Douglas liked him enough to hand out a three-year deal. Van Roten has started 27 games over the past two seasons and received a three-year deal from Joe Douglas.

Andrews will provide the Jets with depth at the center position. The three-year, $30 million contract Fant received may be daunting, but the deal will allow the Jets to cut the former Seahawks lineman after one season if he struggles.

Fant failed to be a consistent starter on a team with a horrendous offensive line, but he has not been an offensive lineman for very long given that he has spent most of his football career as a tight end.

The Jets starting offensive line this upcoming season could very well look like the following.

  • LT: 11th overall draft pick
  • LG: Alex Lewis
  • C: Connor McGovern
  • RG: Greg Van Roten
  • RT: George Fant and Chuma Edoga competing for that spot

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The Jets also had some key players they wanted to retain such as Brian Poole, Jordan Jenkins, and Robby Anderson.

After being one of the best slot cornerbacks in the league this past season, Douglas was able to retain Poole on a cheap one year deal. Jenkins, the team’s sack leader this past season was also retained on a one year deal.

Anderson signed with the Carolina Panthers for two years and $20 million. If the Jets were able to retain Anderson for that same price of $10 million per year, not doing so was a mistake.

The offensive line isn’t the only position that the Jets could improve in. Many feel the team needs to upgrade at wide receiver, edge rusher, and cornerback.

Although he isn’t an upgrade over Anderson, signing Breshad Perriman to a one-year deal was a good move by Douglas. At cornerback, the Jets acquired Pierre Desir on a one-year contract.

Desir will likely occupy one of the two outside starting cornerback positions, while Blessuan Austin and Arthur Maulet, who both showed flashes last season, could compete for that other spot. The Jets could still use help at edge rusher, even after bringing back Jordan Jenkins.

Douglas isn’t finished yet being that free agency isn’t completely over and the 2020 NFL Draft is still upcoming. Because of where the league is trending and the Jets needing to put better talent around quarterback Sam Darnold, the offense should be the team’s priority in the draft.

Joe Douglas could select an offensive lineman with the 11th overall pick and get one of the many reliable wide receivers in this draft in the second round. Of course, the Jets shouldn’t stop looking for wide receiver or offensive line help after the first two rounds.

Losing Anderson hurts, but being able to keep Jenkins and Poole helps. Douglas handed out numerous one-year deals this free agency, which helps the team this upcoming season.

Those expiring deals also give the team financial flexibility in the future. The previous Jets general manager, Mike Maccagnan, handed out numerous big contracts in free agency which ended up hurting the team down the road.

Next. NY Jets: 3 wide receivers to target on Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft

Jets fans will hope that Joe Douglas can build a perennial contender.

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