Five moves the Jets should make to get better quickly

NFL: New York Jets at Miami Dolphins

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

The Jets made it to 8-8 in 2013 and while it seemed a respectable finish, the team will have plenty of draft picks and salary cap room to get better.  Beyond re-signing players like Austin Howard, Nick Folk and potentially even Calvin Pace, what other moves should the Jets consider for 2014?

1) Start the salary purge.
Should he stay, Santonio will get a million dollar roster bonus if he is on the roster after March 13. That to go along with his $9.5 million cap figure. Tone’s 2014 number offers $8.3 million in savings should he get cut before March 13th and a million less if the Jets pay that bonus.  Mark Sanchez’s contract offers $8.2 million in savings, but look to see if the Jets don’t try and trade him first … there won’t be a very good veteran quarterback market this season so the Jets might see what they can get from a team like the Seahawks or Rams.

Those two moves would put the Jets at about $38 million in cap room.  Cromartie is the wildcard, he offers the team and $9.5 million in savings should he get cut … but what will the Jets do with him?  Reduce his cap figure to keep him?  Cut him outright?  No one seems to know yet.

2) Find a competent second receiver who can produce and pay that player accordingly (not like Santonio was)

I think the Jets would be wise to draft a receiver in the first two days of the draft.  This is a good class and there’s a number of players who could come in and help jumpstart this Jets offense from day one.  Even so, the Jets will also need to consider their free agency options to round out the team’s targets besides David Nelson and Jeremy Kerley.  This class might not have a Mike Wallace type receiver in it, but there are a number of decent players that the Jets can pay fair market value and expect to get some decent production from such a move.  The Seahawks 2011 signing of Sidney Rice is the sort of move that I envision … but maybe for less money.  Rice got a five year $41 million deal from the Seahawks at time and Rice was injured during that year, but finished with the team’s second-most yards all the same.

We won’t dig in yet too much on the list of names, but there is a decent little class of free agents for the type of player whom the Jets might be in the market.  Established names like James Jones and Emmanuel Sanders might be nice choices, but there are a number of other options who might be compelling to the Jets.  Players like Golden Tate, Riley Cooper or Eric Decker might be of interest and might all not cost as much as others.  There’s also some risky players like Jeremy Maclin (ACL injury) and Kenny Britt (hot mess) who could be available for not that much money at all. Almost anyone but Hakeem Nicks, please.

3) Find one longer term upgrade at Guard from either Winters/Colon?

We suspect that the Jets are going to try and push Oday Aboushi and Will Campbell into the “competition” for guard next summer, but we have serious concerns if that would be the sole plan.  The Jets would be wise to carry at least one veteran starter into the season, much like Willie Colon ended up being.  Colon was fine for the Jets in 2013 and while the Jets might bring him back as camp insurance in 2014, between him and rookie Brian Winters it was a rough go for the Jets.  If the Jets want to get better at the run and pass, they should consider upgrading one of the guard spots for 2014 with an outside talent.  The list of free agent guards doesn’t look that impressive, but others might come available due to salary crunches on other teams or back even through the draft.

4) Now that the Jets will have some money, go after a luxury signing on defense at either safety and/or outside linebacker.

There are going to be some good safeties available this season and the Jets would be smart to explore their options in that area.  LaRon Landry softened the blow of losing Revis for the season in 2012 and while the Ed Reed experiment did end on a positive note, they needed a better coverage safety running the defense and doing so efficiently earlier in the season.  That would have saved the Jets quite a bit of heartache.

We liked what we saw from Antwan Barnes early in the season, but he’s had some injuries to battle in the last few seasons so the Jets might want to consider adding a player at outside linebacker who can rush the passer.  While a Brian Orakpo type of talent might be nice, the player that the Jets would bring in need not be a Pro-Bowler, what with the stout defensive line to help the OLB get favorable matchups.

5) Invest in a third down running back and returner

Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell have their strengths but the Jets need a more dynamic presence on third down.  Mike Goodson was supposed to be that player for the Jets in 2013, but now with a host of draft picks the Jets would be wise to find a player who could come in and work on returns as well as third downs.

The Jets return game was not up to their normal standards in 2013.  Clyde Gates, Mike Goodson and Josh Cribbs all suffered season-ending injuries and while that was unfortunate, the Jets will need to consider finding a player who can add value to the team in that fashion through the draft. The Jets need to find another Leon Washington type player to come in and help this team on third downs.  Mike Goodson was a holdover option in 2013 and might be allowed to compete for a spot in 2014, but the Jets need to consider getting younger at that critical position for a team with a young quarterback where field position counts.

There’s plenty more moves that could and should be made, like adding a tight end and taking a look at available corners (should they cut Cro) but that was our five.  

Add yours in the comments!




385 comments
dabronx
dabronx

Great article! The only thing I would add is insurance QB. I would draft a QB in the 3rd or 4th round to compete with Geno. If someone like Jimmy Garropollo or Taj Boyd is available in the 3rd, I would snatch one of them.

hazard2012
hazard2012

Jets need to provide Geno with some weapons in order to determine just how good a QB they really have.    One strategy towards that end would be to use their first round pick to select one of the only two top-shelf TE's in this year's draft...either Ebron or Amaro.   


There are at least a dozen quality WR's in draft, but the top two or three may well be gone by pick 18.  Jets could still get a good receiver in the second round, however, giving Geno two new weapons to go with Kerley and Nelson.  Also assuming that, despite his disappearing act most of this season, Stephen Hill will be back in 2014 where he'll either sink or swim.   


Jets also need a lot of help in the secondary...they need a shutdown corner and a safety...but those positions are hard to fill in draft.  Milliner case in point.  Even if he's finally turned the corner, (no pun intended); learning curve is greater at these positions then say at WR, TE or RB. This is why the Jets might be better served filling their secondary needs, not receiver, via free agency.   Also, quality vet WR's like Maclin, Tate, etc. will be expensive.   Idzik would be wise to give this money to experienced D-backs instead,   


David Aron
David Aron

i would find a trade to the rams amusing as then sanchez would be the backup for... clemens

i digress over your draft of a RB for backfield purposes. with the jets so needy for skill position talent as well as OLB, ST, and reserve DL players, the RB position could be overlooked in this draft.


did you run a post-regular season compensation pick thread that i didnt catch?


thanks for all your hard work,

david from haifa

realjetfan
realjetfan

How about signing Wilkerson to a nice extension? 5 years, 60 million should work.

realjetfan
realjetfan

"Almost anyone but Hakeem Nicks, please."


My thoughts exactly.

Peter G
Peter G

Wouldn't mind resigning Cromartie, hopefully his troubles this past season will allow us to release and resign him at a more reasonable cost and he can rehab his injury during the offseason... I think we should drop some cash on a high end safety like Byrd or Ward and a WR, preferably Decker ( I know his stats are inflated by Manning but so does everyone else so I'm hoping that keeps his price from being too gaudy).. Other than that see what vet guards are out there and focus on resigning in house.. Orakpo would be nice but I don't think that's a necessity to spend on, I feel like interior pressure with the line is more impactful than off the edge agst quick passing game many teams use.. Def draft a TE, but I say wait till Round 2 atleast for that and take a WR round 1 or just go BPA.. Later rounds add more secondary and OL depth(hopefully better than last years)

foley
foley

Read somewhere that Cromartie graded out to be number 103 out of 110 cornerbacks in the NFL this season.


In order to justfiy his salary, he needs to be ranked with a number lower than children he's fathered.

xplr
xplr

I don't understand this Sanchez contract business. If the Jets are on the hook for $8.5MM if they keep him next year, would the team they trade him to have the same obligation? If so, I can't believe anyone would take him. If they are not obligated, then wouldn't Sanchez be a free agent? If so, what's the point of anyone trading for him?

Evan Galinsky
Evan Galinsky

The Jets really don't have a shot to land Sammy Watkins, they would have to move into the top 7, I believe the Bucs will grab him. You can retool through the draft but the fact of the matter is they have glaring holes everywhere on offense. I think Ebron or Marqise Lee would be great for Geno. Lee scares me with the injuries but healthy he's a fantastic playmaker. The Jets are far too low at #18 and need to shot the locks of their wallets and spend a bit of money. Give Maclin a contract. Britt and Nicks are nightmares and Decker is putting up gaudy numbers because he's the #3 receiver on the Broncos, you're getting a sub par CB put on him every time. 


I'd love to see them Draft Ebron, sign Maclin and maybe grab Jordan Matthews in the second round.

NYCPEinGermany
NYCPEinGermany

"Colon was fine for the Jets in 2013 and while the Jets might bring him back as camp insurance in 2014, between him and rookie Brian Winters it was a rough go for the Jets."


What did Colon have to do with it being a rough go for the Jets? He shouldn't be mentioned in this context, he was fine. It was all Winters.

davidus1
davidus1

Stage 1: Clean up the cap

Santonio Holmes, Mark Sanchez and Antonio Cromartie get cut. Trading Sanchez is an absolute pipe dream so we can forget about that. I would not resign Santonio Holmes because I don't really see a favorable scenario to him coming back. He's an intelligent guy and he's going to try and get every penny possible. I would however work hard to bring back Cromartie. Probably something in the $4-$5 million range, but I'll leave the actual numbers to the GM.


Some additional moves I would make is reduce the take homes for Mike Goodson and Antwan Barnes. This is a tough business, but they didnt produce on the first years of their deals, and therefore that has to come from somewhere. I thought that Goodson's deal was already reworked, but if not, I expect that we can net $1.5-$2 million in cap savings with some work. Another possible rework could be David Harris.


Stage 2: Supplement the talent

Guys like Calvin Pace and Willie Colon are nice, but we need improvements. If either of those 2 are willing to come back in non starter roles, then so be it, but I doubt it. 


WR: The biggest moves that I would make would be acquiring a veteran leader at WR, but someone with plenty of gas left in the tank. Some names worth looking at are Golden Tate, Jacoby Jones, Emmanuel Sanders. I would also look for a reclamation in Jeremy Maclin, though I think a lot of teams may be thinking the same thing. No thank you Kenny Britt.


S: My second highest priority would be Safety. GET Jarius Byrd. Make it happen. There is a lot of talent in the FA market this year for Safeties. This will be the market inefficiency this year.


CB: If this offseason looks anything like last offseason for CBs, then go get one. If not, then stick to the plan of bringing back Cro and letting Milliner grow.


TE: Dennis Pitta please. I like some of the TEs in this draft, and I actually think we should sign and draft one. A QB like Geno really needs two dual purpose TEs.


Stage 3: The draft

Theres not a lot that I can say about this. Its crucial to get it right in the draft. I believe our priorities will be shaped heavily by the course of free agency, however some obvious needs are WR, the aforementioned TE, another slot receiver/special teamer and while this may go against conventional wisdom, I am a believer in getting a premium talent at QB. There will absolutely be a QB with real talent who falls into the 3rd round. Take a flyer on one of these guys and maybe you catch lightning in a bottle. We're talking Boyd, McCarron or Mettenberger. I'm also a fan of the trade down. Some sucker will want to move up for a Manziel or other overhyped prospect sitting there at 18. This is a deep draft, so I'm happy to move down to do 20s to pick up an extra 2 or 3.

Kal Ripken
Kal Ripken

Bring back as many vets as possible from this team. I'd hate to fall into that spiral of dropping vets and having a team without leadership again.

Kenny Britt is an interesting name and I like Jordan Matthews in the draft as well.

Malty by nature
Malty by nature

I thought posted in reply to my previous post but ill repeat it, where our roster needs the most improvements are spots 25-53 and im extremely confident in Izzy to make these moves and bring in great talent for value

Malty by nature
Malty by nature

For the record this has been one of the funniest threads ive been apart of, playoffs have just started and jets fans have already gone crazy lol

nesboogie
nesboogie

Melvin Ingram! I still do prefer him over Coples

nesboogie
nesboogie

WE MUST SIGN DONALD BUTLER THIS OFF SEASON

a57se
a57se

Anybody else enjoying Andy Dalton stinking up the joint?

dabronx
dabronx

@realjetfan 

I would sign Nicks if he came cheap - doubt it though. Wouldn't just hand him the No.1 or No.2 receiver role. However, if he is willing to come in and compete for a spot, I would take him. 

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@Peter G, I like your thinking on the WR-TE situation and agree they are clearly priority 1 & 2! But it might serve us better to go TE in Rd.1 and WR in Rd.2 as there are only two stud TE's and well over 10 WR's who are rated as difference makers.The TE's Ebron and Amaro will both be gone by Rd 2 so although the very top WR's Lee, Evans,and Watkins will also be gone there are more than enough players at that position who will be significant upgrades over any one on our current roster that we can fix two obvious holes with our first two picks. Like Brian says, we can also sign a veteran F/A for the second WR position and maybe even draft another one a little later on with one of the likely 10 picks we will still have after the first two rounds.

Iain Bartholomew
Iain Bartholomew

@ifti99 Although the team trading would in theory be taking on that salary, little of it would be guaranteed, so they could restructure as part of the trade.

Mateen Kemet
Mateen Kemet

@Evan Galinsky 


that is very sound. Mathews could be this years Keenan Allen and Ebron is in his own catagory - abetter version of keller.  Maclin or Nicks.   Nicks is more of aNo.1  and has had bigger years.  question is health.  Sanders and Tate are better versons of Kerley, so I pass.


D
D

@Evan GalinskyJordan Matthews may be the best WR out of all these guys.......

Brian Bassett
Brian Bassett


@NYCPEinGermany He didn't have anything to do with Winters play, but it wasn't as if his play was so good that we need to  back the Brinks truck up for him either

lindro88
lindro88

@davidus1 Manziel isnt going to be around at 18.  He might go top 3.  

D
D

@davidus1Garret Graham for TE?  Doubt the ravens let him go

bradysucks
bradysucks

@Kal Ripken 


Kenny Britt ?


The guys who are Jets fans who love Holmes and Goodson will LOVE Kenny Britt!    LMAO 


Santonio and Mike Goodson are choir boys compared to Britt

davem
davem

This thread is the playoffs of threads

Frank Delgrosso
Frank Delgrosso

@nesboogie Ingram would have fit our needs and system better. Still scratching my head on that one. That said i believe the Jets are wasting Coples at OLB. What we should do is move to a 4-3 and put him on the line where he belongs

JCuratola3
JCuratola3

I don't know why people on this blog don't like Coples I have season tickets watch every game he is always causing the qb to move. He might not be fast and explosive but he has the pure ability toget to the passer

Mateen Kemet
Mateen Kemet

@a57se And while we are at it, lets compare SANCHEZ to dalton.  Chez has played BIG in the big games with 4 playoff wins and over 60% completion.  Lots of the QB's put up numbers but then fail in the moment.  Chez is a lot better than people give him credit for and it will show one day soon.  He's only 26.  I would renegotiate hs contract and let him compete with Geno when they both have WEAPONS.  If Geno wins we have a really solid back up for a year or better yet with a renegotiated contract we can then trade him if he has a good camp.

a57se
a57se

@Daniel@davidus1 

I don't think the Ravens have anything to do with it  as Graham is a Houston Texan.

Brian Bassett
Brian Bassett

@bradysucks @Kal Ripken Jersey is home for Britt so that is very problematic ... but he could be gotten cheap and he seems to believe he will show everyone once he leaves TEN

NYCPEinGermany
NYCPEinGermany

@JCuratola3 I agree, Coples is really good. He's definitely one of the poisons when opposing OCs have to 'pick their poison' of who they want to double.

Brendan
Brendan

@nesboogie Dalton on the road scares pretty much nobody. He's playing like this and he's at home, imagine him on the road with that scum Belichick cooking something up for him? It'd be a massacre. At least Rivers has that trollololol thing going for him, he could pull a pantheon game out of his rear and score an upset. I doubt anything thinks that about Dalton, including Dalton. 

a57se
a57se

@nesboogie@a57se 

With the pressure SD is applying on Dalton, if they can do that to Brady they'll have a better chance then Cincinnati of beating them.


D
D

@a57se@Daniel@davidus1What i mean is the ravens will try hard to keep him, he is the go to for flacco as of now.    Graham is set to be a free agent i thought. 

nesboogie
nesboogie

@a57se @nesboogie True. I just can't forget that Cincy held the Pats to 6 points in their regular season meeting.