NY Jets focused on their young cornerbacks, don't plan to sign a veteran

NY Jets, Bryce Hall
NY Jets, Bryce Hall / Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

NY Jets head coach Robert Saleh spoke to the media before Thursday's practice and he was asked about a variety of subjects, one of which was the team's cornerback situation.

His response seemed to align with the roster-building strategy the Jets have employed this offseason.

Saleh insisted that he's "excited" about their current group of cornerbacks, even if there's still work to be done. Perhaps more revealing is that he said bringing in a veteran would only serve to "eat up reps" from the younger guys.

It sure seems as though Saleh and the Jets are content with the young cornerbacks on their roster and aren't actively looking to sign a veteran.

Don't expect the NY Jets to sign a veteran cornerback

The Jets upgraded a variety of different positions in the offseason, but one position that was mostly ignored was cornerback. That's not to say the Jets didn't add any new players — just that those new players are hardly sure things.

The only "cornerback" the Jets signed in free agency was veteran Justin Hardee who is exclusively a special teamer. Meanwhile, they did add three in the 2021 NFL Draft, but they all came in the fifth and sixth rounds.

At the moment, the projected starting trio for the Jets is Bryce Hall, Blessuan Austin, and Michael Carter II. Hall has shown the most promise, but even he is hardly a starting-caliber cornerback just yet, let alone a No. 1.

Austin took a step back in 2020 after a promising rookie season and should be competing for a roster spot instead of a starting job.

As for Carter, the Duke product was selected in the fifth round of this year's draft and will compete with 2020 undrafted signing Javelin Guidry for the starting slot role.

The likes of Jason Pinnock, Brandin Echols, Lamar Jackson, and Isaiah Dunn could also compete for snaps on defense. It's a very young unit, but hardly an inspiring one.

The Jets could certainly use a veteran cornerback on the roster, whether it's a boundary corner like Richard Sherman or Steven Nelson or a slot corner like Brian Poole.

They have the cap space to make it work too with just over $25 million remaining, per Over the Cap. But the Jets don't seem to be interested.

Saleh and the Jets are optimistic about their young cornerbacks and appear content to roll into the 2021 season with their current crop.

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Don't count on the Jets making a veteran signing before the start of the season.