Prioritizing Free Agency
Brian Bassett , theJetsBlog.com
We’re going to start doing a lot more intensive looking at the NFL Draft in the coming days and weeks, but of course free agency comes before the draft.
Here’s three spots in no particular order that the Jets might try and target players at once free agency begins, even thought they might not have a lot of money to do so. I just talked with Corey about this as we taped our podcast and he named two of the three positions below … listen to the end of the podcast later today to hear which group he chose differently.
Safety — With Eric Smith likely a goner, and Bell and Landry both up in the air as free agents, the Jets are going to have to address the spot via free agency again even though they just used two picks in the last draft on the safety spot. Josh Bush might be ready to step and take on a larger role, but the team is going to need to find some depth at the spot this spring to provide competition this summer. Trufant and Lankster played decently last year so the Jets have to feel comfortable with their 4th and 5th corners, so depending on what happens with the Revis situation … see if the Jets don’t try and convert one of their nickel cornerbacks to the safety spot if they feel like they can’t round out the spot and Revis and Cro both come back. Louis Delmas might not have been able to stay healthy for the Lions, so see if he doesn’t have to take a lesser or incentive-laden deal via free agency this spring.
Wide Receiver — This seems to be a boom or bust spot for the Jets in 2013. Santonio Holmes will be coming off his season ending injury and Stephen Hill started to show some promise right before he was injured for the season. Jeremy Kerley’s play in 2012 did a lot to help the Jets alleviate some concerns about the spot as they head into 2013, but with questions about just how productive Holmes can be coming off an injury and whether or not Hill is a legit starter, there’s going to be a need to find some production from outside the current roster. The draft is a hard way to gain first-year value from the spot, so the Jets seem to be left with free agency. The Jets are not going to be able to pay a big name like Anquan Boldin or Wes Welker, but the Jets are going to need to find a physical, veteran player who can bring leadership to their corps. If charged with choosing between Edwards and Schilens, re-signing Braylon Edwards might make the most sense because he might come on the cheap and has more upside productivity with the Jets. Of the names of free agents, Danny Amendola and Brian Hartline are names that have been brought up among public discourse in relation to the Jets, but they would have to be willing to take a small initial cap number in their first year with the team, much as Santonio did when he got his contract from the Jets in 2011. Of course, that would then mean backloading a deal with money that might paint the Jets into another corner regarding a receiver …
Quarterback — The Jets will likely at least explore what it would take to get a player like Matt Flynn or Alex Smith via trade, but the Jets would be even foolish to not try and see what it would take to get a journeyman like Matt Moore. Moore might command much of a payday, but if the Jets can work out a 2-3 year deal that would please him over the long term (not necessarily in year one) for the quarterback and promise him a legitimate shot to compete for a job (which it sounds like Idzik is in favor of) then it might be an attractive landing spot for Moore.