The Jet Press
Free Agency

Grading every move the NY Jets made in the first wave of free agency

NY Jets, Tyler Conklin
NY Jets, Tyler Conklin / Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
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NY Jets
NY Jets, Nathan Shepherd / Al Pereira/GettyImages

Nathan Shepherd, DT, NY Jets: 1-year, $1.085 million

This is very similar to the McDermott re-signing. However, unlike McDermott, Shepherd is a player that Joe Douglas inherited from the previous regime. Quite frankly, it's surprising that he has survived the roster turnover and that he's back with the Jets theoretically for another season.

The 2018 third-round pick is penciled in currently as one of the Jets' top backup defensive tackles, but the operative word in that statement is penciled, and I wouldn't write that down in permanent ink.

To be fair, the Canadian native Shepherd has been a useful rotation player with 4.5 career sacks. And all things considered, he handled the transition from playing in a 3-4 defense to the 4-3 fairly well last season.

Plus, Shepherd is a well-liked player by his teammates and his new coaches from 2021 — the latter reason is probably why he is back as low-cost depth. But the Jets can do better at the position behind Quinnen Williams and Sheldon Rankins.

Grade: C-


Lamarcus Joyner, S, NY Jets: 1-year, $2.6 million

The Jets are guaranteeing $2.1 million of Lamarcus Joyner's new deal. They hope that with any luck, Joyner's presence on the field will be guaranteed in 2022. The team is hoping they finally get to see Joyner contribute in their defense.

A year ago, Joyner was one of the new coaching regime's first handpicked choices in free agency. The versatile defensive back was supposed to be a key figure in the back end of the Jets' defense, but his turn at bat only lasted 11 snaps.

The Jets have a very young team, particularly in their secondary. A year ago, they trotted out several first and second-year players in their defensive backfield in 2021.

The 32-year-old Joyner, like Flacco and Coleman, is supposed to help guide the young pups in the yard. The Jets are paying Joyner for him to be a mentor and on-field coach.

Like Joe Flacco, I think it's a positive use of the cap and depth to help foster progress among talented young players. The Jets feel that too, and that's why they made the move to bring him back.

The Jets' re-signing of Lamarcus Joyner is a let's-try-this-again move.

Grade: B+

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