New York Jets – Verner? Howard? Sanchez? What is on the Way?

Verner? Howard? Sanchez? Clemons? Hawkins? Thoughts on the New York Jets on the day before contracts can be signed in free agency

Tomorrow at 4PM the money is going to start flying in the NFL. By this point the New York Jets have been linked to seemingly every available free agent in the league. What should Jets fans be on the lookout for tomorrow when the opening bell sounds? Let’s take a closer look…

1. The Big Spend? – This is the season of smokescreens but the chatter around the New York Jets and Tennessee Titans corner Alterraun Verner is hard to ignore at this point. The Jets won’t be the only team anxious to throw a big contract to the ascending 25 year old All-Pro, as New England, Minnesota and a few other teams are expected to heavily pursue him. How much are they willing to spend? The tone around Antonio Cromartie’s release makes it sound like he is very unlikely to return on a new, more cost efficient contract. Considering Rex Ryan’s history and ongoing love affair with the cornerback position, it hard to imagine the Jets cut bait with Cromartie without a strong plan for free agency in place. If they miss out Verner, keep an eye on Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, who will come cheaper and could immediately step into the Jets starting lineup opposite of Dee MIlliner.

At safety, Jairus Byrd’s price tag is rumored to be dropping into the 8 million per year range. There hasn’t been any rumors about the Jets and Byrd which might be worth noting in itself, considering how tight of a lid John Idzik has kept on everything since taking over. Remember there was zero chatter about the Jets and WIllie Colon, Mike Goodson, David Garrard and Kellen Winslow Jr before they were all signed. I’m not saying Byrd is a likely target but I am saying to write it off 100% is premature. Another safety to watch is Chris Clemons, who would provide some needed range in coverage and be an upgrade over Dawan Landry. The Jets are flush with enough cap space where a signing of Verner and Clemons is not out of the question.

2. Austin Howard? – The Jets are working furiously to prevent Howard from hitting the open market tomorrow. All it takes is one team like the Raiders to throw him a ludicrous contract to potentially end his tenure in New York. The last thing the Jets need to is let a young, ascending talent on their already limited offense to walk. It will be a major win if they can lock him up within the next 24 hours. Most signs point toward Howard returning to New York but nothing is concrete yet.

3. Quarterbacks – Mark Sanchez isn’t due his roster bonus until March 25th. Many believe the Jets will see how the first two weeks of free agency shake out before making a decision on his future and that is a sensible theory. However, the building perception that Sanchez is likely be in New York for 2014 is misguided. Look for the Jets to make a strong push for Mike Vick or Matt Schaub (when he is officially cut) and also give consideration to Josh McCown. Shaun Hill is another player likely to receive consideration if they cannot get one of those three. It would not be crazy to think the Jets will add a veteran at quarterback and release Sanchez by the end of the week.

4. The Rest – Don’t count on Willie Colon being back with the team in 2014…he will hit the open market and likely receive a strong amount of interest eventually ending in a contract the Jets will be unwilling to match or exceed. Jon Asamoah is a name to keep an eye on and maybe Geoff Schwartz as well. The Jets have been very quiet when it comes to their preference at wide receiver. There has been a high amount of discussion about a potential pursuit of Andrew Hawkins but the interest level has been overstated. With both Golden Tate and Dexter McCluster primed to hit the open market, rumors swirling of DeSean Jackson, Steve Smith and Miles Austin becoming available and Eric Decker now expected to command a little less money than expected, the Jets will have no shortage of options. They may let the market settle a little bit before making a signing or two at receiver. At tight end, keep your eyes on Brandon Pettigrew and Andrew Quarless. The Jets are far from done at the position despite bringing Jeff Cumberland back.

Lamar Woodley is going to be released by the Pittsburgh Steelers and despite the Jets history of not spending at outside linebacker under Rex Ryan, I’d have to imagine they will at least kick the tires on him. Calvin Pace is still more likely to come back but if the Jets can get Woodley in the fold at the right price, it would be a nice upgrade.

One last thing to remember, Darrelle Revis needs to be on the Tampa Bay Bucs past March 13th for the Jets to receive a 3rd round pick…not a 4th round pick. It isn’t 100% that Revis will be on the Bucs roster by week’s end.

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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

  • PC3

    Gotta lock Howard up. He’s a strong RT and in his prime… Letting Colon go is most likely and probably for the best, between Asamoah and Schwartz I rather go for Schwartz considering he out played Asamoah last season…

    Receiving options are solid, the guy I would go for is Golden Tate, he has what we need, he makes plays after the catch and always catches the football… TE isn’t all that intriguing, I’m not a fan of Pettigrew, Quarless is a solid option if we do choose to sign a FA TE. QB, I would pass on Vick and go for McCown, he benefited greatly from the monster receivers the bears have but if it’s between him, vick and hill, I would def go with McCown.

  • KAsh

    We cannot get everybody. The rumors have mentioned every agile receiver on the market except Tate and every possible top-end safety except Byrd. My money is on us targeting those two players. I might add Aqib Talib to that list: I have now heard the name of every single high-end corner tied to the Jets except Vontae Davis, who is rumored to be close to resigning with the Colts, and Belichick’s favorite DB, who happens to be the type of physical corner our HC has a fetish for. It is a little odd that the Jets have apparently stopped wanting to screw over BB. Also, the benefit to keeping quiet about guys is that you do not inflate their asking price.

  • Joe Caporoso

    Agree, would be a shame to see Howard walk..particularly in division to a team like Miami.

    Tate is my favorite FA WR option, not sure how much NYJ is looking to spend at position though. I think QB will come down to Vick or Schaub

  • subzero2401

    I highly doubt we’re about to witness a major spending spree that many are expecting. Idzik has proven to be more practical thinker that isn’t just thinking about the short-term. That being said, I’d expect to see one big contract on each side of the ball and a series of smaller, low-risk deals to follow that up. Then of course in a few weeks he’ll have quite a few draft picks to work with to fill out the roster.

    The two big FA signings I’m looking for in the next few days are Alterraun Verner and Golden Tate.

  • Perezfootball

    Lets see how well I do..jets sign Verner,Hawkins,Woodley,Whitner,Mckown.let go Wilson,Colon,Pace,Landry,Sanchez..draft Zach Martin N Davante Adams rd 1 &2

  • John X

    Now reports are flying that Vontae Davis is seriously linked to the Jets and 49ers and that he will not be signed by Indy. Munnerlyn projects as a plan B option at CB.

    Joe – I hope your “signs” are correct about Howard as I haven’t seen anything to indicate this deal is going to get done. Miami has contacted him and placed him at the top of their priority list.

    Great point about the lack of chatter revolving around last year’s FA signings.

  • Lidman

    If Adam Schefter is right, and Tampa Bay releases Revis, let’s hope Idzik is smart enough to check in on him. I’d much rather pay Revis-the top of the CB market, $12mm, than pay Verner-who’s performance slipped the 2nd half of last season- or Davis $10mm.

  • Joe Caporoso

    As long as Revis has the same agents/team around him and the Jets are owned by Woody Johnson, I have a tough time seeing any reunion happen.

    Davis won’t command 10M, he’s likely to be more in the 5-7M range and I think he’ll be the Jets top target

  • Lidman

    I’m interested to see how both of these play out. I get your feeling on Davis, I simply think there is just a lot of money floating around and fewer assets. I’m not going to put a ‘value’ on Davis, or Verner, but I think the contracts will be higher than expected (same goes for Tate).

    As for the Revis situation. It’s a business and Woody gets business. I was fairly confident Revis would be cut (and vocal about it). I think the guy is great, but he was scheduled to make over 40% more than any other CB in the league. I don’t care how much cap space you have, that makes no sense. At 29, I’m sure winning comes into his equation a bit. I also know that he’s trademarked the phrase ‘Revis Island’. In order to capitalize on that opportunity not only does his play have to remain at a high level, but he has to be in a place where he receives publicity. He knows the system here, knows he can thrive and loves Rex…stranger things have happened. Just bummed that the NYJ will be moving down 35+ spots now, from the 3rd to 4th (after the comp picks).

  • John X


    Sam Shields just signed for 9.5M per year and let’s not confuse him with the elite CB’s in this FA class. I think you’re out of touch on your prediction for Davis. I’m hoping you’re correct but I doubt it since the f-ing Packers just considerably raised the market value for CB’s.
    Vontae is going to cost big bucks. 10M easily.

  • Lidman

    JX..I agree and I’d rather pay $12-13 for a ‘known commodity’.

  • John X

    Revis demands 16M. No less. Is someone going to justify that cost?

  • Lidman

    John X,

    If he’s released he can only get what the market is. Sure, he could sit out an entire season, but is that going to improve his position? He made 16mm last year. Had Schiano stayed on, he’d have made another 16mm this year.