3 Free Agents joining the AFC East that should worry NY Jets fans

The Jets' rivals remain strong.
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The NY Jets are going all-in on the 2024 season, signing big names like Tyron Smith and Mike Williams to address some of the team's biggest needs from last year. The championship window is open, and New York is taking full advantage.

The Jets improved heavily in the 2024 offseason, but so did the rest of the division. The Dolphins are still a formidable threat, the Bills will be dangerous as long as Josh Allen is in town, and the Patriots' defense is still worth worrying about.

Let's take a look at 3 players joining the Jets' main rivals that fans could end up wishing didn't. Any one of these players has the potential to evolve into a thorn in New York's side that carries on throughout the remainder of the season.

3 AFC East free agent signings who should worry NY Jets fans

3. Wide Receiver Curtis Samuel, Buffalo Bills

Samuel joins the Bills as presumably their WR2 behind rookie Keon Coleman, but don't let that "WR2" fool you, he is a dangerous weapon for Josh Allen.

Samuel is one of the most versatile players in the league able to take in passes out wide, in the slot, and out of the backfield. In 2023 he put up 652 yards and five touchdowns while splitting an almost even target share with Logan Thomas and Jahan Dotson, not to mention Terry McLaurin.

Samuel will this year have a massive upgrade at quarterback from Sam Howell to Josh Allen. He could be the best Day 1 starting WR on the Bills roster assuming Coleman takes time to catch up as a raw prospect.

The Bills offense now sports Coleman, Dalton Kincaid, and James Cook can also utilize the diversity that Samuel can bring to an offense. He isn't a game-changing number-one receiver, but he adds a slight kick to an already good offense that Jeff Ulbrich will need to account for.

2. Edge Rusher Shaquill Barrett, Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins needed edge rushing help so badly that they stole Barrett from the Jets' grasp in free agency. Barrett was minutes from signing with the Jets until Miami called in their offer, something that will be sure to haunt them.

Barrett is on the tail end of a stellar career now but is still a very effective pass rusher at age 31. Last year, for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he put up five sacks with 49 pressures, culminating in an elite pass-rushing grade of 84.5 from PFF.

The Dolphins will be throwing a horrifying group of five edge rushers at the Jets this upcoming season with Barrett, Jaelan Phillips, and Bradley Chubb now joined by rookies Chop Robinson and Mo Kamara.

With a group of edge players that deep that can keep Barrett fresh at all times, he will be a constant threat to Aaron Rodgers' safety in their battles with Miami this season. Let's hope Tyron Smith and Morgan Moses are ready.

1. Cornerback Kendall Fuller, Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins didn't just upgrade their edge group, they went for help in the secondary as well.

Fuller, 29, is going to be a big problem for the Jets this year. He joins a Defensive Backfield already including Jalen Ramsey and Jevon Holland.

Fuller has been quietly one of the best and most consistent corners in the league since his sophomore year in 2017 and he hasn't dropped off at all. In 2023, he posted an elite 82.8 coverage grade from PFF, which was good enough for the 13th-best in the NFL per their metrics.

With Fuller, Ramsey, Holland, and Poyer covering the backend while Barrett, Chubb, Phillips, Kamara, and Robinson rush the passer, the Dolphins are going to be one of the Jets biggest challenges defensively.