In the coming months there will be no shortage of additions to the New York Jets roster, which currently is closer to resembling a CFL team than a competitive NFL team. In today’s 12 pack we are going to sort through every position and outline our “wish list,” “most likely,” and “long shot” outcome for the Jets in free agency, mindful of the salary cap situation. We will also go over a handful of draft prospects they could consider at each position. Let’s have a look –
Wish List – Matt Moore – Cheap player who has been productive with limited opportunities around the league. He can manage an offense and is an ideal stop-gap while the Jets yet again begin the search for a franchise quarterback.
Most Likely – Tavaris Jackson – Will be even cheaper than Moore and has ties to new GM John Idzik, who is apparently a big fan of him. Jackson has flashed at times in Minnesota and Seattle but has been generally inconsistent.
Long Shot – Matt Flynn – More of a “name” guy who will probably get overpaid somewhere because of one big game at the end of the 2011 season. He has a decent skill set but there is no reason to think he’d be any better than Moore, except carrying a higher price tag.
Draft Names – Ryan Nassib, Mike Glennon, EJ Manuel – There has been buzz about the Jets and all three of these names, all of whom don’t really merit a top 50 selection. If the Jets could snag Manuel in the third round, this writer would be pleased.
2. Running Back
Wish List – Chris Ivory – We have been on the Ivory bandwagon for awhile. He is a violent runner who has thrived with limited reps in New Orleans. Ivory is a Restricted Free Agent but that shouldn’t prevent the Jets from taking a long look at him.
Most Likely – Justin Forsett – It is less the name of Forsett but more of the level of free agent that he is. You could group Javon Ringer, Rashad Jennings, La’Rod Stephens-Howling and Felix Jones in this group as well.
Long Shot – Ahmad Bradshaw – A complete back who would be a good fit in any system. He is likely out of the Jets price range though.
Draft Names – Stepfan Taylor, Eddie Lacy, Montee Ball – Lacy would be a steal for the Jets in the second round but will likely be gone unless they trade up for him. Taylor is a more realistic option who the Jets are reportedly high on and has the skill set of a complete NFL back.
3. Wide Receiver
Wish List – Braylon Edwards – He will come on a minimum contract and is already comfortable here. Edwards looked like he still had plenty to give in the final three games of the 2012 season and would be a nice mentor to Stephen Hill.
Most Likely – Braylon Edwards – He is the fit here too because of his price. The Jets won’t spend big at wide receiver this off-season.
Long Shot – Brian Hartline – A good route-runner who’d be a nice fit in Marty Mornhinweg’s system, plus it would weaken a division rival. However, he will likely be out of the team’s price range.
Draft Names - Markus Wheaton, Kenny Stills, Quinton Patton - All mid to late round options the Jets could consider to improve their long term depth at the position.
4. Tight End
Wish List – James Casey – Think of him as a cheaper, better blocking and more durable version of Dustin Keller.
Most Likely – Ben Watson – The Jets just hired Steve Hagen from Cleveland to coach their tight ends, could he bring Watson on a low-cost deal?
Long Shot – Jared Cook - A ton of athleticism and upside. Cook could be a nice fit in the Jets new offense.
Draft Names – Gavin Escobar, Ryan Otten, Joseph Fauria – All intriguing mid to late round options for the Jets to consider.
5. Offensive Line
Wish List – Geoff Schwartz - A versatile interior lineman who should come at an affordable rate as a replacement for Matt Slauson.
Most Likely – Cooper Carlisle - Good fit in the Jets new offense and could be even cheaper than Schwartz.
Long Shot - Andy Levitre – Would be nice to steal one of the league’s better guards away from a division rival, no?
Draft Names – Chance Warmack, Jonathan Cooper, Barrett Jones – There is a good debate raging among Jets fans if it is worth taking a Guard at #9 if Warmack is available. He is a safe pick who would stabilize the interior of the offensive line but could they find an effective player in the middle rounds or on the cheap in free agency?
6. Defensive Line
Wish List – Terrance Knighton – He could help hold the fort if Sione Pouha doesn’t return as a veteran fallback for Kenrick Ellis, who hasn’t proven he could stay healthy for 16 games.
Most Likely – Shaun Cody – Cheaper option than Knighton. The Jets only need to add a rotational piece here.
Long Shot – Casey Hampton – On a short term deal, would be a great mentor for Ellis up-front.
Draft Names – Jordan Hill, Joe Vellano, William Campbell – The Jets won’t spend a high pick in this position, after drafting a defensive lineman in the first round the past two seasons but they could take a mid or late round flier.
Wish List – Victor Butler – Ton of upside and will come as a bargin free agent. It sure beats overpaying for Anthony Spencer, which some team will do this off-season.
Most Likely – Antwan Barnes – Jets considered him last year and he could be a productive player on passing downs.
Long Shot – Paul Kruger – Knows Rex Ryan’s defense and had a monster post-season. Unfortunately that monster postseason probably put him out of the Jets price range.
Draft Names – Jarvis Jones, Dion Jordan – Will the Jets look for their pass rusher early in draft or wait until the mid rounds?
Wish List – Kenny Phillips – Set up a similar contract to the one you set up for LaRon Landry last year.
Most Likely – Drew Coleman – Why not? He knows the system and either Darrelle Revis or Antonio Cromartie will be gone next year.
Long Shot – Dashon Goldson – A big investment for a big time player in the back end of the secondary.
Draft Names - T.J. McDonald, Tony Jefferson, Shawn Williams – You know the Jets are adding to their secondary at some point this April.
9. Special Teams
Wish List – Jim Leonhard – This might sound silly but wouldn’t it be nice to have a reliable punt returner who could also provide depth at safety?
Most Likely - Nobody – The Jets are going to stay pat at major special teams spots.
Long Shot – Ted Ginn – He has the ability to be an elite kick/punt returner and the Jets could also pitch giving him a shot on offense.
Draft Names - Basically anybody taken after the 3rd round will immediately be relied on for special teams.
10. Current Team UFAs
Wish List – Resign Mike DeVito, Austin Howard, Yeremiah Bell, LaRon Landry, Brandon Moore, Let Shonn Greene and Matt Slauson walk, Franchise and trade Dustin Keller - Keller promises to have an ugly contract situation, so the Jets should get something back for him. Obviously it would be nice to bring back Landry and DeVito but it might be financially unfeasible.
Most LIkely - Resign Austin Howard, Yeremiah Bell, and Brandon Moore. Let Shonn Greene, Matt Slauson, Mike DeVito and LaRon Landry walk. Franchise and trade Dustin Keller. - Due to financial constraints, hard to see Landry or DeVito back as mentioned above.
11. Other Cut/Restructure Candidates
Wish List - Restructure Sione Pouha. Cut Calvin Pace, Bart Scott, Jason Smith, Eric Smith, Tim Tebow - Would be nice to keep Pouha on a lower cost deal.
Most Likely – Cut Sione Pouha, Calvin Pace, Bart Scott, Jason Smith, Eric Smith, Tim Tebow. - Not sure Jets end up getting Pouha back at a reduced rate.
12. Trade Candidates
Wish List – Find a reasonable way to keep Darrelle Revis long term and trade Antonio Cromartie for a pair of mid-round picks – You always want to keep a once in a generation talent.
Most Likely – Trade Darrelle Revis for a first round pick and a pair of conditional mid-round picks – The Jets are going to realize they can’t meet his long term demands and get what they can back for him.
*** Note – The Jets aren’t finding a trade partner for Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, David Harris or Santonio Holmes. Tebow will be cut. If they are lucky, maybe they could get Harris or Sanchez to restructure their contracts slightly.