Even with the NFL Draft in the rear view mirror and OTAs getting ready to start on May 23rd, the Jets are certainly not finished tinkering with their roster. They recently had DT Larry Ogunjobi and LB Kwon Alexander in to discuss possibly signing. These two veterans are on the radar but probably only at a certain price. If they do sign I am sure it will be a team friendly deal so these players I assume will look for better offers before they commit. The signings would likely come in late July rather than any time soon.
The Jets are a little thin at a few positions including linebacker, safety, interior defensive line, and offensive tackle. According to Over the Cap the Jets currently have $13,206,098 in cap space with the vast majority of their dDaft class to sign. There is little they can do to gain more cap space by cutting or trading players. Some of the players who would give them the most relief are the players they could least afford to lose. They could extend a player like Quinnen Williams or restructure a larger contract, but I don’t know whether that is something Joe Douglas would want to do. He has not done much of this in the past.
So any player they sign would be to backup contracts with limited playing time. It’s the type of contract that may interest an aging veteran with an injury history. The ability to come in and play 20-25 snaps a game would hopefully keep them healthy and most productive for the entire year. So the chances of the Jets bringing in a cornerstone type player is remote. So let’s see who is out there in search of work who could help.
Eddie Goldman 28 years old 6’ 4” 320 lbs
Goldman is an interior run stuffer who sat out the 2020 Covid 19 season then went down in the preseason of 2021 with an ankle and knee sprain. He did not return until week four but was ineffective his first two games back. He went on to have a mediocre year but appears to be fully healthy now and is still only 28 years old. Goldman would be a rotational early down player being used about 20 to 30 snaps a game if signed.
Akiem Hicks 33 years old 6’ 4” 335 lbs
Hicks is a near unblockable monster inside on the defensive line and would be an incredible signing if Joe Douglas could pull it off. Hicks is a quality run stuffer but also a fierce pass rusher. The 10 year veteran has over 40 sacks and 387 combined tackles in his career. A knee injury and Covid 19 last year limited him to only 9 games. He is known as a team leader and a player who receives a double team on every play unless you want him to ruin your day. Again the Jets would look for 25 to 30 snaps from Hicks instead of the 63 he played in his last game in Chicago.
Larry Ogunjobi 28 years old 6’ 4” 305 lbs
Ogunjobi is more of a penetrator as a player than a run stuffer. If the Jets want a player who can rush the passer and make TFL then Ogunjobi would be the best guy left on the market for that job. He isn’t super stout against the run, but he does make tackles; he also can get pushed around a little. He is a Cleveland draft pick who they let sign with the rival Bengals. He signed a 3 year/$40.5 million contract with the Bears but he failed his physical so he became a free agent. The questions you have to answer are:
1) Why did he fail his physical?
2) Why did the last two teams he played for not try and re-sign him?
Linval Joseph 34 years old 6’ 4” 329 lbs
A giant run stuffer, Joseph is getting up there in age but still productive. He has missed a total of 11 games after his rookie year. Playing in 165 out of a possible 176 for an interior lineman is amazing. He is still one of the best tackling interior defensive linemen in the NFL but is not much of a sack master.
Sheldon Richardson 32 years old 6’ 3” 290 lbs
Always productive and usually healthy, the former Jets is still getting it done. A reunion might be in order if the Jets want to make the offer. He had some injury issues for the first time last year, but if healthy he is a tackling machine.
Steve McLendon is 36…too old.
Brandon Williams is 33 and has played 114 games as a nose tackle. He has been beaten up,
Corey Peters is 34…ditto what was said about Brandon Williams.
Ndamukong Suh is 35 and would be too expensive.
The Jets didn’t use a pick up a linebacker which was a surprise since the duo of Mosley and Williams with very little behind them. Williams was a nice surprise coming off the waiver wire from the Jags (who make strange moves). You would have to think Mosley is a cap casualty next year so why not bring in a young guy who could learn for a year? The Jets obviously want to see what they have in a few late round picks at the WILL position, but why not bring in some competition? You don’t want to depend on some day three picks to be starters after not showing much in the past year.
The Jets brought in Kwon Alexander who has experience in the Saleh system for a visit but what if he signs somewhere else? Let’s look at some other candidates.
Joe Schobert 28 years old 6’ 1” 240 lbs
Schobert is a productive inside linebacker with great experience. He has 5 straight years of over 100 tackles with 3 different teams. He is not a liability in coverage with 10 INTs and 30 PBUs with 10 forced fumbles and 11 sacks. Joe the show or Joe-Bert is a fan favorite and a player who can be a starter immediately if needed. The only questions would be what he would want in compensation and why has he been with 3 different teams in 3 years.
K. J. Wright 33 years old 6’ 4” 246 lbs
No longer a starter, K. J. Wright was a valuable member of the Raiders defense in 2021. He is a wise crafty veteran who could be a rotational player or an injury sub. He ended up starting 8 games for the Raiders last year making 51 tackles. He made $3.2 million last year but might have to cut that in half if he wants to sign with the Jets. A player with 992 career tackles brings a load of experience and would be a valuable resource for those young Jet linebackers in their 2nd year while also being a great backup.
Alexander Johnson 30 years old 6’ 2 255 lbs
Johnson is 30 years old but has only played 4 years in the league. He was a reserve his first season then had 93 and 124 tackles his next two years. He played only 6 games last year due to a torn pectoral muscle. He is more of a two down thumper, but he would be an inexpensive reserve and a valuable starter if an injury occurred. He of course would have to be vetted medically before an offer could be made. He would not be my first choice, but he is a productive player who can stop the run.
Jamie Collins 33 years old 6’ 3 255 lbs
Collins has been a New England Patriot on two separate occasions in between times with the Browns. mega size ILB with speed, Collins brings a huge experience level with him to his next team. He ended the 2021 season on injured reserve with an ankle injury which would of course need to be checked. It would be interesting to see if he would sign with the Jets with an ability to stick it to his old boss Bill Belichick. He would make a great addition and probably would push Quincy Williams for the starting job. The money and years would probably make the difference if he would sign.
Jaylon Smith is 27. He is young but not the same player of a couple of years ago.
Malcolm Smith is 33 years old and has started only 11 games the last 3 years combined.
Anthony Hitchens is 30 years old with good stats but not fast. He has taken a lot of hits.
Dont’a Hightower is 32 years old. I could never see him playing for the Jets.
Anthony Barr is 30 years old. Go pound sand. I get an ulcer thinking of you.
The Jets made a solid pick in Max Mitchell as a 4th round pick who could be a very good player. He played in a lower division of football at Louisiana-Lafayette, but he has talent. The two things in his detriment is his lack of experience against NFL level talent and his poor length (33” arms). He is quick off the snap and very athletic, but he may need some seasoning. I don’t think the Jets would want him to be a starter if someone like Becton goes down like last year on the first game of the season.
Here are some other candidates
Daryl Williams 30 years old 6’ 6” 330 lbs
A huge man with quick feet, it amazes me he hasn’t been signed as of yet. He had a toe injury that hampered him in the Playoffs, but he is a great tackle and has been so for years. He had a horrible knee injury years ago, and I never thought at his size he could be effective. He more than proved me wrong. He has been excellent. Money would be the key in any deal, but he is the type of talent who could replace George Fant. You could trade Fant for picks to another team and use Williams in his place.
Eric Fisher 31 years old 6’ 7 315 lbs
Fisher is a former #1 overall pick who still has value. He is a better run blocker than pass blocker but could be a valuable backup who can play either tackle position. He should not be terribly expensive on a two year deal.
Brandon Shell 30 years old 6’ 5” 324 lbs
Shell is probably the second best Jets selection outside the top 40 picks that Mike Maccagnan made as GM in 4 years only being topped by Foley Fatukasi. Shell is not great, but he is a decent player even today. As long he is not allowed to get run over by Myles Garrett he is serviceable. He would make a nice backup for the Jets (if he would come back) at a reasonable price.
Bobby Massie 33 years old 6’ 6” 317 lbs
In truth I never really appreciated Robert Massie as a player from way back when I scouted him at Ole Miss. Yet he has persevered and become a decent player for many years. He was never great but he was very serviceable which is what you need in a backup. He is a better run blocker than a pass blocker, but the Jets could do better or a lot worse.
Nate Solder is 34 years old overpaid and was never as good as the Giants thought. Pass.
Bryan Bulaga is 33 years old. He is a very old 33. He has been beaten up for too long.
Mike Remmers is 33 years old. Once a great player, he is now another old 33 year old.
Cameron Fleming is 29 years old, has never been a great player, and never will b.e
Marcus Cannon is 34 years old. Ditto.
Tyler Crosby is 26 years old. At this age for him to be on this list is all you need to know.
Jason Peters is 40 years old. A great player once. Please retire.
Duane Brown is 37 years old too old and would be too expensive.
Riley Reiff is 33 years old. For the right price maybe. He was never great but serviceable.
The safety position is actually two positions with a free safety and a strong safety component. You would like to have the flexibility to use duel free safeties in passing situations since they have better coverage skills than strong safeties. The Jets are using two veteran safeties they just signed (One was a re-sign.) to man those positions. Obviously they don’t have a lot of respect for their backups I did love the Jets signing Tony Adams as a UDFA. He has great speed (4.34/40) but is also amazingly athletic 41.5” vert and a 130” long jump. He lacks some instincts. I don’t know if the Jets will look at him as a free safety or a big cornerback. Still we could use some backups.
Jaquiski Tart 30 years old 6’ 1” 215 lbs
Tart played for Saleh in the Super Bowl (Dropped an easy INT.) so he knows him well. He is a 7 year veteran with a world of experience. He is not the fastest of safeties, but he is a good tackler and a smart player who can teach others. I don’t know why he hasn’t signed.
Landon Collins 28 years old 6’ 0” 222 lbs
Collins is a big hitter who had an injury a few years ago that robbed him of speed. He is still a tough hombre who can be an enforcer at the line of scrimmage. He would play the Jamal Adams role as a blitzing player from anywhere near the line. He’s smart. He understands his role well. He is a 3rd down LB who can cover TEs. Money is the only problem.
Jason McCourty is 35 years old He would probably never play for the Jets.
Tashaun Gipson is 32 years old He is no longer a player on the back end to trust.
Tavon Wilson is 32 years old and no longer a viable safety option.
Deshazor Everett is 30 years old, a career backup with limited skills.
Okay so the cupboard is not bare for players, but it will continue to be depleted as time goes on. The Jets have two choices as they proceed. They can sign one of these players with limited money. They may have to guarantee a certain amount before they sign. In this instance you get the guy you like most at a decent price with a limited contract.
You can wait until the roster cuts which can yield you a bargain. The problem is you have no idea who will be let loose, or whether they will sign with a team like the Jets. You are rolling the dice if you wait considering who will be available and the compensation they will desire. You also will have to bid against other teams for the same players. You could end up shut out from any improvements which means you will need to subsist on the waiver wire during the year to find any replacement you want. This is not an option of choice.
This is the situation.
Let me know what you think or if I missed somebody you like.