Which pending Jets free agents should the team keep or let go?

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

With plenty of cap room this offseason, the Jets are going to have some decisions to make regarding who to let go and who to keep. (Rich Cimini had the good idea to rank the free agents on ESPN NY, so be sure to read his as well.)

While the Jets won’t renew all the players, here’s a list of who’s contract is up along with our rambling thoughts on each

NFL: New York Jets at Buffalo BillsRG Willie Colon (2013 salary $1.16 million) — Colon might be nearing the end of his career, but he played well for the Jets in 2013 and moving to guard might extend his longevity in the league. Colon has stated that he wants to play for Rex Ryan again in 2014, but the Jets drafted heavily into the OL ranks in 2013. Would the Jets bring back Colon with the expectation that he would be a fulltime starter or as a backstop should Aboushi and Campbell not pay off during training camp? The situation will be more complicated with Colon due to his season-ending injury in the last game of the season. His surgery and rehab will likely go uneventfully. The Jets should consider bringing him back for another veteran minimum type deal around the start of minicamps.

TE Jeff Cumberland (2013 salary  $1.32 million)  — Cumberland has his best statistical season with the Jets in 2014 (398 yards and 4TDs) but it was his improvement in blocking that drew Rex’s praise the most. Cumberland is rounding into form as an NFL tight end but there are those that will question whether we’ve reached his upside. There were reports the Jets were serious about drafting a TE on day two in 2013, but once taking Geno in the second, the Jets seemed to be behind the curve on talent round by round. Expect the Jets to be serious about adding a tight end through the draft. With that in mind, the Jets might like to bring back Cumberland, but might not make it a priority in the face of offers from other teams.

DL Leger Douzable  (2013 salary $715,000) — The journeyman Douzable might have had his best year as a pro in the Jets system. Playing with the talent around him would do that, so look to see if Douzable doesn’t do whatever it takes to come back to the Jets on one-more one year deal before trying to parlay that to the best contract he can muster.

OL Vladimir Ducasse (2013 salary $630,000)  — After being replaced by Brian Winters during the season, it would seem that the Jets will be finally parting ways with Ducasse. The Jets carried an almost criminal 10 offensive linemen on the roster this season, three of which were inactive (Ijalana, Aboushi & Campbell) seemingly every game. If the Jets didn’t expect larger contributions from those players the following season, there is no reason to retain them. The Jets need to pare down the roster spots at the position and the money and roster spot afforded to bringing back Ducasse might be a better fit for a proven veteran that can be counted on to start. Someone like say Willie Colon should the young turks not work out during training camp.

NFL: New England Patriots at New York JetsK Nick Folk (2013 salary $780,000) — Folk had a career best season with the Jets in 2013 and is looking (and deserving of) a multi-year contract. Folk help win multiple games for the Jets in 2013 and having a steady leg to go with a young arm at the quarterback spot is always a wise investment.  Expect the Jets to bring Folk back on a deal that averages upwards of two million dollars per year across three or so year.

RT Austin Howard (2013 salary  $2.02 million) — There’s about three cap moves that we would die for this season. The first is re-signing Nick Folk. The second is extending Mo Wilkerson’s contract as soon as possible. The third is locking up Howard. Howard played extremely well and preventing him from getting to free agency is the best long-term move for the team for less than five million per season.

CB Ellis Lankster (2013 salary $585,000) — Lankster played a core role on special teams for the Jets over the last few seasons and has seen some work on defense. His returning to the Jets might be contingent on him seeing a larger role on defense. With Darrin Walls, a rehabbing Aaron Berry and others equipped to step in this season, the Jets and Lankster might head separate ways in 2014 much as the Jets and Dwight Lowery, Marquice Cole and others have over the years with those players finding their fortunes elsewhere.

OLB Calvin Pace (2013 salary $1.0 million) — Pace had a productive season as a outside linebacker and the team got their money’s worth in terms of pressure from Pace with his first ever double-digit sack total. The Jets could look to bring back Pace in 2014 on a similarly modest deal as they look to groom future players at the spot through free agency or the draft.

S Ed Reed (2013 salary $940,000) — Reed has stated that he wants to keep playing. He’s also said that he chose the Jets over the Patriots because of Rex. With an unstable secondary in 2013, the Jets have to see the value of capable safeties. Can Reed be that player for the Jets in 2014? I can foresee a situation where Reed does comes back to the Jets on another modest deal, but the Jets will need to think hard about how to best utilize their safety spot this offseason and it is fair to question whether Reed’s presence will impact the safety group’s overall performance.

TE Kellen Winslow (2013 salary  $840,000) — I wouldn’t expect Winslow to be back in 2014 with the Jets. The team is going to want to get younger and Cumberland seems capable of filling a more versatile role. Should Winslow return, the Jets won’t be in a rush to re-sign him as they will want to see where players like Cumberland, Sudfield and any other acquisitions might be around June camps.




151 comments
Muhammad Gretzky
Muhammad Gretzky

Colon, Douz, Howard and Folk are no brainers. Pace and Reed under one year deals, as well as Winslow who, like the rest of the receiving corps, were affected by Geno's growing pains.

harvlis
harvlis

Can't pay Colon a great deal, as he will be coming off surgery.  Should draft a top TE and let Cumby go but, keep Winslow, if the price is right.  Sign Douz and give him a raise.  He had a nice season.  Only the Jets coaches know whether to give Vlad another year.  I would sign Folk, if the price is right.  He had a very nice year but, he has not been consistent, over his career.  Howard is a keeper.  Lankster is not bad but, has to be signed at the right price.  I would sign Pace, as he had a nice season.  He took advantage of the fact that our defensive line rotation is made up of beasts.  If we can sign Pace for $1 Mil or less, he would be nice depth, even if they get a player to replace him.  As for Ed Reed, he is a stud.  Next season, he will be healthier and, after a pre-season with the team, will be ready for another championship.  If you get Reed at the right price, you sign him. 

jetsfn1986
jetsfn1986

I would try to resign all except Lancaster and Ducasse, provided they are cap friendly deals for the Jets. Reeds experiance for the secondary can not be taken lightly as well as the leadership from Pace for the gys up front, and I believe Winslow has grown up bt I still would draft a top flight Tight end this year no matter what....

j3tsfan29
j3tsfan29

Sign cumby, find a replacement for colon and sign a vet min deal to keep him. Folks a no brainier, I'm torn on ducasse, wish they would have let him play the season out so I could fairly say he sucks or he doesn't. Really the only person I don't want in green and white is Winslow. I'd even take ed reed again. Even tho I still stand pat that he's not that good anymore. I wouldn't lose sleep if lanksters cut but I say keep him until I know what's going on with CRo.

MarshRandy
MarshRandy

I would bring back Winslow just because I want some continuity at TE and I for sure want Cumberland gone

hazard2012
hazard2012

Colon, Douzable, Howard, Folk and Pace all played often and well this past season, and should be brought back.   Colon and Pace, especially, could provide leadership and mentoring for younger prospects at their positions Jets need to draft.   


Ducasse should go.   He's had maybe one good game since being drafted.   Ed Reed is mostly shot, but I would consider bringing him back as a DB's coach, not as player.   Winslow, too, is well past prime, and should be let go; especially if Jets draft one of the top TE's, like Ebron or Amaro.   If they keep Cumberland, it should be as second TE at modest salary.  Otherwise, let him walk.   He was used more as WR this year, and Jets will be drafting one of those, as well.   

idothis2
idothis2

i cant see winslow coming back. other than the Winters forced insertion as a starter, i put a lot of blame on him for the backward step Geno took when he was out for his 4 game suspension. he and Geno built a rapport up to that point and his absence stunted Geno

Brendan
Brendan

PFF is trolling, right? Desmond Trufant is their DROY? 

idothis2
idothis2

@Brendan i saw trufant get manhandled and shove aside plenty of times. shame on PFF

djf1
djf1

@Brendan I knew they were going to switch in someone else.   It always felt that way.   whatever. 

a57se
a57se

@Brendan 

What a travesty.......I am done with PFF after that.

nesboogie
nesboogie

@Brendan yea, they were calling him a top 10 db this year and all that lol. Did you see Kiper's article on why Sheldon isn't DROY? Lmo, straight jokes.

Nikos Psara Konstantantakopoulos
Nikos Psara Konstantantakopoulos

@a57se@Nikos Psara Konstantantakopoulos I think it allows us to creat more cap space & lets not forget those 12 picks.. we now what we r getting/not getting from these current players 43 actually players on the roster



Brendan
Brendan

@djf1 I just figured that the guy who lead the entire year in the race for ROY (which included both offense and defense) would win the DROY. Since, you know, he was the best rookie overall. 

Bent
Bent moderator

@a57se @Brendan I bet they get more hits overall from this though...

Brendan
Brendan

@Bent I didn't have the heart to tell Fonzie that of all the Jets' DL, that this is the most untrue when it comes to Sheldon, whose effort and relentlessness is what gives him a lot of his tackles and positive graded plays. He's stopped at the LOS fairly often, but doesn't let that end his play. 

a57se
a57se

@Bent@a57se@Brendan@djf1 

Well to be accurate, NONE is better than Geno!

a57se
a57se

@Bent@Brendan@djf1 

Also interesting is that Mike Glennon made the All-Rookie team at QB and NO ONE else from the QB class was even mentioned. Under the honorable mention tag, they had NONE at QB! Basically they said Glennon made it by default.

Bent
Bent moderator

@Brendan @djf1  Rumor has it that Sheldon was going to win until an anonymous tipster phoned them up and said "If you can stop him at the line (prevent him from going forward) HE IS DEAD!!"


Hahaha.

Bent
Bent moderator

@djf1 That'll teach those of you that were complaining about them relying on their own grades too much!

a57se
a57se

@djf1@Brendan 

Their final numbers are +30.4 for Sheldon and +12.2 for Trufant...........

Brendan
Brendan

@djf1 Now I'm just mad because I went there to check something else, saw the DROY article and now I can't remember what I came to PFF for in the first place. 

a57se
a57se

@djf1 

I am stunned by this outcome........

djf1
djf1

I guess their own grades don't matter. 

a57se
a57se

@djf1@Brendan 

After week 16, Trufant was 6th in their rankings of rookies at +8.6 while Sheldon was +29.0..........


Mateen Kemet
Mateen Kemet

@Bent @a57se @Brendan If he makes the same big leap from yr 1 to yr 2 that most DL make then he will be BETTER than wilky was in yr 2 at worst.  :-)

Bent
Bent moderator

@a57se @Bent Oh, well for future reference I don't mind.  And thanks.


I think this deserves its own thread.

a57se
a57se

@Bent@a57se 

I actually had someone accuse me of not crediting you with some information after I posted on PFF a couple weeks ago! I referred to Wilkerson having a wrist injury as being a possible reason for his slip in play.....

I took out any mention of you.

Bent
Bent moderator

@a57se Can you edit that out?

a57se
a57se

@Bent@a57se@Beamen321@Brendan 

I gave you credit for the stats....not the sarcasm.


I got the stats from you...sorry!

Bent
Bent moderator

@a57se @Bent @Beamen321 @Brendan Post your own version by all means and feel free to re-use those stats.  Don't attribute it to me though.

Bent
Bent moderator

@a57se @Beamen321 @Bent @Brendan  


"He ended the year with a league-leading 15 pass break-ups to go with his two picks, allowing just 53.4% of balls thrown his way to be completed."


Dee Milliner - 51.5%, three picks and 10 of his 11 pass breakups in the second half of the season.


Trufant wins for putting up similar numbers to Milliner who was poor for most of the year.

Brendan
Brendan

@Beamen321 He might have made it to #5 a couple of weeks, but yeah, I followed that series all season and not once did Trufant get a write-up like he was an elite player or anything. 

Beamen321
Beamen321

@a57se @Bent @Brendan I followed the PFF "Race for ROY" article all year and I don't believe Trufant ranked in the top 5 at any point the entire season. 

Bent
Bent moderator

@a57se @Bent @Brendan They're not wrong that Richardson didn't have great pass rushing production.  However, two key points here...


1. He had less pressure than he otherwise would have because (a) teams got rid of the ball early and (b) the team had other outstanding rushers that got there before him.


2. He created much more pressure than Wilkerson did in HIS rookie year.

Bent
Bent moderator

@a57se @Bent @Brendan Just thinking that a controversial decision like this might prove good for business because it will get more attention and spark debates.