What should the NY Jets do after missing out on Calais Campbell?
By Justin Fried
The NY Jets were scheduled to bring six-time Pro Bowler Calais Campbell in for a visit on Thursday as the team was hoping to address one of their biggest roster needs. Unfortunately, they didn't even get the chance to do so.
Campbell reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons Wednesday morning, one day before he was supposed to visit with the Jets.
Campbell's decision reportedly came following a 40-minute discussion with Falcons owner Arthur Blank, in which Blank sold Campbell on the impact he could make off the field in the Atlanta community.
The 2022 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner, Campbell is one of the most charitable individuals in the NFL. Even aside from his on-field fit, the off-field fit seems to be the driving force behind his decision.
The Jets still have a sizable hole at the defensive tackle position — one they hoped Campbell could help fill. So, what do they do next? What options do they have to address the significant roster need?
What options do the NY Jets have after failing to sign Calais Campbell?
There are actually a few intriguing names remaining on the free-agent market. Players like Matt Ioannidis, Poona Ford, A'Shawn Robinson, and Al Woods are all starting-caliber defensive tackle options.
Ioannidis is probably my favorite target. The New Jersey native has consistently been one of the most underrated defensive tackles in the NFL over the last few years, and he offers plenty of upside as an interior pass-rusher.
Someone like Robinson or even Woods makes more sense if the Jets are looking for a true run-stuffer in the middle of their defense. Robert Saleh generally prefers smaller, nimbler defensive linemen, but the Jets could use a big-bodied run-stuffer.
If the Jets don't sign a starter in free agency, the 2023 NFL Draft could offer a few options as well. Georgia's Jalen Carter is widely considered to be the best defensive tackle prospect in the class. Although most expect him to be a top-10 pick, some issues in the pre-draft process could cause him to fall.
There's also Pittsburgh's Calijah Kancey, who could be a more feasible target at pick 13. Kancey fits the physical profile that Saleh usually covets in defensive linemen as an undersized but uber-athletic interior disruptor.
Missing on Campbell is far from ideal for the Jets. The potential future Hall of Famer would have been a massive addition to a Jets' defensive line room that could use some depth.
That said, there are still ways the Jets can adequately address the position. It's becoming a pretty dire roster need, though. Help is needed.