NY Jets reportedly still looking to make a 'splash move' this summer

NY Jets, Jessie Bates
NY Jets, Jessie Bates / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets didn't necessarily make many true "splash" moves this offseason, but few teams improved their roster more over the last few months than they did.

From their superb free-agent period to their near-universally acclaimed 2022 NFL Draft class, it's hard to argue that the Jets haven't had an incredibly successful offseason. Their work might not be done just yet, however.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler dropped an intriguing nugget when talking about the outlook of the Jets' 2022 season in a recent article. That nugget indicated that the Jets were "still looking for another splash move in the secondary."

Whether that implies the Jets are actively searching for an upgrade or that they're just open to a move isn't clear. But what is clear is that the Jets are willing to explore a splash move this summer.

The NY Jets are still looking for ways to upgrade their secondary

It isn't a surprise to hear that the Jets are still in the market for another veteran addition this summer. The team has previously been connected to the likes of linebacker Kwon Alexander and offensive tackle Riley Reiff.

The wording here, though, is interesting. There aren't many "splashes" the Jets can make in their secondary at this stage of the offseason. The most likely (and only logical) target would be Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates.

Bates has found himself the subject of trade rumors in recent weeks with the star defensive back looking for a new contract. The Bengals placed the franchise tag on him in the offseason, but he's yet to sign it.

The possibility of a holdout is looming, although most seem to believe that the two sides will eventually work something out. That said, a trade isn't out of the equation.

Perhaps that's the move Fowler is hinting at. Would the Jets really consider moving significant assets for a talented (but inconsistent!) safety who's likely asking for $15-18 million per year? Personally, I can't see it happening.

If not Bates, there aren't many other options. Baltimore Ravens safety Chuck Clark is on the trade block, but his skill set is redundant to Jordan Whitehead's, unless the plan would be to move Clark to linebacker.

An outside-the-box trade target could be longtime 49ers safety Jimmie Ward. Ward is an important part of the 49ers' defense, but he's set to be a free agent at the end of the year and obviously has plenty of experience working under Robert Saleh.

Next. 7 remaining free agents with prior NY Jets connections. dark

Ultimately, it's difficult to envision a scenario where the Jets make a big-time "splash" in the secondary this summer. Never say never, though.