NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
1. The NY Jets could target CB Steven Nelson
It’s somewhat puzzling that former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Steven Nelson remains a free agent after being released by the team (at his request) back in March.
Nelson is still relatively young (he turned 28 back in January) and has been a starting-caliber cornerback for the past half-decade. And he’s just two years removed from an incredible 2019 season.
The Oregon State product finished the 2019 season with a superb 80.5 PFF grade that ranked sixth out of all cornerbacks in the NFL. He regressed back to the norm in 2019, but his norm is still above average.
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Nelson hasn’t received a PFF grade below 68.0 since 2016 and has been ranked in the top-36 at his position in each of the last three years. Again, how is this guy a free agent in May?
The Jets should do everything they can to sign Nelson to not only provide a short-term boost to their cornerback room, but to give the team a rock-solid starter hopefully on a multi-year contract.
Bryce Hall showed promise in his rookie year, but he cannot be relied on as the Jets’ No. 1 cornerback. And it seems clear at this stage that Blessuan Austin is not a starting-caliber player.
The Jets need to add a veteran cornerback before the season starts, and none are more appealing than Nelson.
Both as a short-term and potential long-term addition.