Every off-season there is a collection of names fanbases frequently circulate as desired targets for their teams. In some cases, these names get circulated so frequently, it starts to feel like the players MUST be coming here in the off-season or it is a major disappointment. Let’s review some of the most popular names Jets fans are calling for and take a realistic look at their situation…
Byron Maxwell, CB – Starting for the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday and at the top of nearly everybody’s wishlist who needs a corner. Maxwell is a very good player who holds his own in Seattle’s Cover 3 and man looks despite playing opposite arguably the best corner in the NFL. He would be an immediate upgrade for the Jets and add some needed credibility to their secondary. However, there are rumors circulating that Seattle is already working on bringing him back and if he does leave, one must think he would strongly consider following Dan Quinn to Atlanta to play opposite Desmond Trufant. Money may talk for Maxwell or he may prefer the comfort level of his current team or former Defensive Coordinator. Either way, Jets fans shouldn’t act like Maxwell hitting the market and jetting right to New York is foregone conclusion.
Devin McCourty, FS – It still seems doubtful that New England will let him hit the market but if they decide to pay Darrelle Revis 20 million next year, it could happen. If it does, the Jets should be ready with a blank check but it would be very un-Patriots like to let him go and potentially have a division rival pounce.
Antonio Cromartie, CB – Nobody loves a reunion like Jets fans, who would probably sign up for a Braylon Edwards return in a heartbeat still. Cromartie is already gushing about potentially come back and makes sense on some levels. The Jets need corner help. Cromartie knows Todd Bowles’ defense. He is comfortable with the area and the Jets can afford to pay him. However, there should be some hesitation about investing too heavily in a player his age, with his hip condition. 2013 Cromartie was every bit as bad as every player in the Jets secondary last year. The Jets can’t sign him and think their work is done at corner or plan to rely on him too heavily. A short term deal and signed in conjunction with another player? Yes, that could make sense. It wouldn’t be shocking to see Cromartie back in Green and White.
CJ Spiller, RB – Thrived in Chan Gailey’s offense. The Jets need a versatile, pass catching back to compliment Chris Ivory. Chris Johnson is probably getting cut. Similar to Cromartie, this seems like a logical target in free agency. If I was betting today, I’d say Spiller and Cromartie would be guys in Florham Park during the first week of FA visits talking contracts.
Bryan Bulaga, OT – A free agent tackle, which is an area of need for the Jets and the team just added Steve Marshall to coach their offensive line. Where was he last year? In Green Bay. I’m not sure if Bulaga is going to hit the market or if Mike Maccagnan would look to a lower cost guy like Derek Newton from his time in Houston instead.
Dez Bryant/Demaryius Thomas, WR – Don’t bet on seeing them hit free agency.
Randall Cobb, WR – It would be surprising if the Packers let him leave. He is much more likely to hit the market than the two guys above but I wouldn’t expect to see him in New York. If he does leave Green Bay, he will be highly sought after and I’m not sure how heavily the Jets will invest in wide receiver or if Cobb will come somewhere with so much quarterback uncertainty.
Mike Glennon/Ryan Mallett/Ryan Fitzpatrick/Matt Moore/Sam Bradford, QB – The most popular names thrown around for the Jets veteran stopgap options. It is too early to tell what their real options will be. Does St. Louis swing a trade for a quarterback or just keep Bradford? Is Houston interested in having Fitzpatrick or Mallett compete with Tom Savage next year? Does the Jets new regime think Glennon is any good? Does Todd Bowles have fond memories of coaching Matt Moore? This a complete crapshoot at the moment.