5 biggest winners from first wave of NY Jets 2024 free agency

Who are the biggest winners from Jets free agency?

Breece Hall
Breece Hall / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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4. Will McDonald, DE, NY Jets

The Jets' decision to use the 15th overall pick in last year's draft on Iowa State edge rusher Will McDonald raised quite a few eyebrows at the time, and it's still one that remains contentious to this day.

McDonald played sparingly as a rookie as part of a loaded defensive line rotation, but he should be given a significantly larger role entering his second season. That's largely due to the departure of Bryce Huff.

Despite Huff's brilliance last season, the Jets decided to move on from the former undrafted free agent due in large part to their faith in McDonald. The Jets might still add another edge rusher this offseason, but it's clear they have big plans for the 2023 first-round pick.

McDonald should have an opportunity to take a Jermaine Johnson-like leap in his sophomore NFL season. The Jets will certainly need him to do just that if they're to replace Huff's production.

3. Aaron Rodgers, QB, NY Jets

The Jets went into the offseason with one primary goal in mind: fix the offensive line. The acquisitions of John Simpson, Morgan Moses, and Tyron Smith have helped accomplish that objective, and Aaron Rodgers might be the primary beneficiary.

Rodgers was injured just four plays into his Jets career last season after a sack allowed by aging veteran Duane Brown. While the sack may have been Rodgers' fault, it's hard to imagine him surviving behind last year's offensive line regardless.

The Jets were dealt some unfortunate injury luck, but even a healthy Jets offensive line had plenty of question marks. The unit, at least on paper, appears to be significantly improved through the first week of free agency.

Smith and Moses give the Jets their best tackle duo in years, and Simpson joins Alijah Vera-Tucker and Joe Tippmann to give the team a rock-solid interior trio. Rodgers would be even higher on this list if the Jets had added another offensive playmaker, but fixing the offensive line is a great start.