2. NY Jets target: Marcus Williams, S
Tyrann Mathieu isn't the only notable safety set to hit the market, however. In fact, I'd argue he isn't even the best. Marcus Williams of the New Orleans Saints should garner just as much, if not more, attention in free agency.
At just 25-years-old, Williams enters free agency as one of the best safeties in the entire NFL. He may not have the name value or the accolades that Mathieu has, but his contract this offseason will reflect just how highly the NFL views him.
The former second-round pick has been ranked as a top-seven safety in football by PFF in each of the last three seasons and four of his five years in the league. He's one of the best pure coverage safeties in the NFL with the numbers to back it up.
Williams was credited with allowing just eight catches for 112 yards during the entire 2021 season. His average of 0.17 yards allowed per cover snap ranked third among qualified safeties, per Jets X Factor.
On top of that, he's been flagged for pass interference just five times in his career and has never been flagged for a holding penalty. Williams is an elite cover safety, and exactly what the Jets need in their secondary.
Williams could assume the Marcus Maye role in the Jets' defense as a dynamic, rock-solid free safety, and at just 25-years-old, this would be a signing for the future just as much as it is the present.
Marcus Williams checks every box Joe Douglas looks for in a free agent. He's young, durable (has never missed more than two games in a season), and is one of the best players at his position.
I'd expect Marcus Williams to be a top target for the Jets this offseason.