New York Jets – Reviewing Free Agency Additions

A review of the New York Jets free agency additions and their expected contributions in 2013

The New York Jets haven’t made any major splashes in free agency, which was expected as they began the process of rebuilding their roster. They have made 6 new additions for only a total of 2.8 million guaranteed dollars. Let’s run through them quickly and assess realistic expectations for them in 2013

David Garrard – Quarterback – A former Pro-Bowl quarterback who hasn’t taken a meaningful snap since 2010 because of various injuries, most notably to his back. Garrard at his best was an accurate, smart and mobile quarterback who led a playoff team. If he is healthy and approximating somewhat near his 2010 play, he will push Mark Sanchez for the starting job this summer. Those are two major “ifs” – Depending on how the NFL Draft shakes out, it is far from crazy to think that Garrard could start at some point this season. If he doesn’t, the Jets have no long term ties to him and he is a capable veteran backup.

Antwan Barnes – Outside Linebacker – Barnes has been a situational player for most of his career but will get a good shot at starting for this Jets defense, even if they draft an outside linebacker in the first round. He is familiar with Rex Ryan’s defense, provides needed pass rushing speed and skill off the edge, and is the most experienced outside linebacker currently on the roster. Will he be overextended as a starter? Probably. Can he still provide decent production off the edge, particularly on passing downs? Yes. In an ideal situation, the Jets will draft a pair of outside linebackers (one early and one in the mid-rounds), and after starting the year behind Barnes, they will both grow into full-time players.

Mike Goodson – Running Back – Arguably the player with the highest ceiling out of any Jets free agent signing. Goodson has been a backup and role player for most of his NFL career but possesses the skill-set to be a starter, particularly in the type offense Marty Morhinweg is likely to run in New York. Considering the depth chart at running back, Goodson is the current favorite to be the starter and see the bulk of the touches out of the backfield. If he can stay healthy and handle the workload, he has the potential to be a 1,200 yard back this season.

Willie Colon – Guard – There are health questions surrounding most, if not all of these additions and Colon is no exception. If Colon is healthy, he will be a solid starter at one Guard position for the Jets who could earn himself a long term contract here or elsewhere. 16 games from Colon could go a long way towards solidifying the Jets offense line.

Antonio Garay – Defensive Tackle – A high-ceiling, depth signing who provides insurance if Kenrick Ellis isn’t ready to take on the full time starting nose tackle role. Garay has starting ability but again has issues staying on the field. He should be a prominent rotation player for the team even if he isn’t technically a starter.

Dawan Landry – Safety – Unlike the previously mentioned signings, Landry is exceptionally durable, starting every game the past four seasons. He will immediately step into the starting line-up at safety and should give the Jets a workmanlike, stable presence in the defensive backfield. He knows Rex Ryan’s defense and is a needed veteran in a position that will be flooded with second year players and draft picks.

Prior to the NFL Draft, Landry, Colon, Goodson, and Barnes all project as opening day starters. Even after the Draft, they’ll all likely be projected as starters. Garay should be a key rotational player on the defensive line and Garrard is a legitimate contender to be the starting quarterback. Considering the overall financial expenditure, that it isn’t a bad haul by GM John Idzik.

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports

  • blastingzone

    Idzik has done a great job with the money he
    had to work with and hopefully he has the same ability in the draft! I’m not talking
    about the money I’m talking about him knowing
    talent! I know he has a scouting staff but he
    has the final say and I think Goodson will be the steal of the FA market as long as he stays healthy! Goodson is a breakaway back
    who can score from anywhere on the field and
    he can catch the ball out of the back field
    (see 64 yd screen pass for a TD with oakland
    last year!)Go to you tube and look at his college video at Texas A&M and you will fall
    in love with him too!! He has had the bad luck to sit behind some really good backs and didn’t get much of a chance to start and
    when he has he’s been ither very good or hurt!!

  • Boomer

    Like the moves, really excited to see Goodson

  • Mark Phelan

    I will take anything and anyone at this point.

  • Jay1

    Great piece but we still need a QB – if Garrard gets hurt, which is likely, or if he wins the starting job, he will not last 16 games. Did Mac show you guys enough or do we really think Sanchez can rebound?