Free Agency

NY Jets listed as realistic landing spot for safety Jordan Whitehead

By Kristen Wong
NY Jets, Jordan Whitehead
NY Jets, Jordan Whitehead / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages
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The NY Jets could get a huge boost to their defensive backfield this offseason if they can get their hands on Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Jordan Whitehead.

New York likely won't re-sign Marcus Maye for 2022, which means the team will be looking for two starting-caliber safeties to add to the roster.

Lamarcus Joyner played just nine snaps in his lone season with the team and likely won't be back. The Jets have a young and inexperienced unit offering mere potential rather than much-needed stability.

Rookie Jason Pinnock has shown he can plug in at safety if need be, and former undrafted free agent Elijah Riley and 2020 third-rounder Ashtyn Davis can and will continue developing at the position.

But if the Jets want a little more reliability, they may look no further than Tampa and consider signing Jordan Whitehead, who is set to be a free agent in 2022.

The NY Jets could spring for Jordan Whitehead in 2022 to upgrade their safety unit

Whitehead is projected to be one of the top safeties on the free-agent market, but he's by no means the best. Marcus Williams of the New Orleans Saints and Jessie Bates of the Cincinnati Bengals present higher-caliber options who may still be re-signed by their current teams.

Whitehead still has plenty to offer, mainly in pass coverage and versatility. In 2021, Whitehead allowed a 63.2 percent completion rate at just 8.6 yards per completion with zero touchdowns. His production hasn't dipped either, as he's recorded at least 69 tackles in each of his four seasons in the league.

The 2018 fourth-rounder should fit in nicely in the Jets' defensive scheme, and New York definitely has the cap space to give him a lucrative contract.

According to Pro Football Network's Ben Rolfe, Whitehead could command a contract close to the value of the Jordan Poyer/Micah Hyde pairing in Buffalo ($9.7 million per year).

Then again, Rolfe writes that the Jets could also feign interest in Whitehead "to try to drive Marcus Maye's price down" and ultimately sign Maye instead. Both Maye and Whitehead would be solid options for the Jets, but it'll likely be one or the other.

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Given Maye's injury history, our money is on Whitehead, or perhaps another experienced safety looking for a new home this offseason.

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