5 under-the-radar fits for the NY Jets in 2022 free agency

NY Jets, Maxx Williams
NY Jets, Maxx Williams / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
4 of 7
NY Jets
NY Jets, Ronnie Harrison / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

3. NY Jets target: Ronnie Harrison, S/LB, Cleveland Browns

A year ago, the Jets drafted two college safeties and moved them to linebacker while also pursuing safety Keanu Neal in free agency to play the position. Neal instead chose the Dallas Cowboys, who helped him make the transition in a scheme similar to the Jets defense run by Jeff Ulbrich.

Ronnie Harrison has the same type of tweener traits that Neal had. Primarily utilized as an in-the-box player in Cleveland, the 6-foot-3, 214-pound former third-round pick can be an interesting chess piece for any defense.

Harrison has experience playing in the slot and the deep-third of a secondary, but his best traits are as a high-level tackler and run defender — two areas the Jets defense struggled mightily with in 2021. Harrison, still only 24-years old, can be very valuable to heavy Cover 3 teams like the Jets.

The Browns may not be able to retain Harrison's services because they are committed to their safeties, 2020 second-round pick Grant Delpit and 2021 offseason acquisition John Johnson III.

Cleveland, under defensive coordinator Joe Woods, runs a similar defensive system to the Jets, and Woods worked under Robert Saleh in San Francisco as a defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator. So the terminology for Harrison might not be much different in the Jets defensive scheme. 

The plus side is that Harrison is not expected to command big money on the open market. Like Jayron Kearse, Harrison could sign a reasonable one-year deal worth anywhere from $3-6 million.

For some, this type of signing seems too far outside the box for what many would deem as a one-dimensional inside-the-box type player. The Jets brass has been looking for specific players like Harrison.