7 cheap and realistic free-agent targets for NY Jets this offseason

Some realistic low-cost free-agent targets for the Jets

Kendrick Bourne
Kendrick Bourne / Billie Weiss/GettyImages
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6. The NY Jets could sign OT Donovan Smith

  • Contract Projection: 1 year, $2.5 million ($1.75 million guaranteed)

Everyone loves a hometown hero story. Two-time Super Bowl winner Donovan Smith grew up in Hempstead, NY, on Long Island as a Jets fan, and he's made it clear that he'd love to play for his childhood favorite team at some point in his career.

Smith is set to be a free agent this offseason after starting 12 games at left tackle for the Kansas City Chiefs last season. He's far from the most highly-touted free-agent tackle on the market, but he is a cheap option for the Jets.

Smith has been a serviceable, below-average starting left tackle in each of the last two seasons. That said, he's struggled with penalty issues and ranked 66th and 61st among qualified tackles in 2022 and 2023, respectively, per Pro Football Focus.

By no means should Smith be a solution for the Jets at left tackle, but if he's willing to take a hometown discount to play for his favorite team, he could be useful as a potential swing tackle.

5. The NY Jets could sign S Tashaun Gipson

  • Contract Projection: 1 year, $2.5 million ($2 million guaranteed)

Three of the Jets' top four safeties will be free agents this offseason, as the team will be forced to make decisions on the likes of Jordan Whitehead, Ashtyn Davis, and Chuck Clark. One player they could add to that group is veteran Tashaun Gipson.

Gipson has spent the last two seasons in San Francisco, and while he never crossed paths with Robert Saleh on the 49ers, he did spend a year with him in Jacksonville. Even at 33 years old, Gipson is still a quality starting safety.

The 12-year veteran has earned rock-solid PFF grades of 69.7 and 67.8 in each of the last two seasons, helping man the middle of the 49ers' defense. He still has enough left in the tank to be a serviceable starter.

Even if the Jets aren't leaning on Gipson as a full-time starter, he would provide valuable experience and deep-coverage ability to a safety room with plenty of questions entering the offseason.