4 free agents the NY Jets should pursue from Super Bowl teams

NY Jets, Jessie Bates
NY Jets, Jessie Bates / Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
5 of 5
NY Jets, Jessie Bates
NY Jets, Jessie Bates / Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

1. NY Jets target: Jessie Bates, S, Cincinnati Bengals

This one comes with a caveat. I fully don't expect Jessie Bates to actually hit free agency with the Bengals unlikely to just let him walk. At the very least, a franchise tag is probably in order.

However, if Bates manages to shake free, expect him to be one of the top targets for the Jets this offseason.

A former second-round pick, Bates has developed into one of the best safeties in football and one of the more underrated players leaguewide. Easily the best season of his career came in 2020 when he finished with a PFF grade of 90.1 that ranked first among all safeties in the NFL.

However, amid drama surrounding contract negotiations, Bates took a step back in 2021 playing some of the worst football of his career. He was still good, and he managed to step up when it mattered most, but he wasn't his usual dominant self.

Bates was given a PFF grade of just 65.4 that ranked 43rd out of 94 safeties. Still starting-caliber, but it was clear that his play had slipped a little.

Regardless, at just 24-years-old (he turns 25 in a few days), Bates fits the bill of a Joe Douglas signing, much like Corbett. He's missed just two games in his career, is still super young, and has played at a high level.

Next. 2022 NFL Mock Draft: NY Jets build around Zach Wilson, 3 QBs in the first round. dark

Throw in that he fills a major position of need and it's obvious that Bates would be a top priority for the Jets if he actually hit free agency. Whether he does, or not, remains to be seen.