The New York Jets are off to an active start in free agency today. Follow along with all the action below and catch up on the past two days right here. You can also listen to our latest podcast and read more on yesterday’s signing of Matt Forte..
7:40PM – No news since this afternoon’s flurry. It may be a few days before this entire quarterback shuffle shakes out but as of now Colin Kaepernick still seems to be Denver’s top choice, leaving it more than likely Fitzpatrick finds his way back to New York. Elsewhere, the Jets have shown interest in Steelers fullback/tight end/h-back Will Johnson, which is a move this blogger would be very fond of. Johnson is a movable chess piece who is a solid blocker and a quality special teams player. The signing of Johnson probably would be bad news for Tommy Bohanon.
Internally, the Jets are concentrating on getting Erin Henderson and Leger Douzable back while waiting to see what happens with the quarterback situation. It is also intriguing they were so active in the Oliver Vernon bidding, with this article from Peter King suggesting the Jets believed they could have 15 million dollars to utilize to acquire him. Could a Mo Wilkerson trade be closer than we expect if it frees up the assets to go get the right player?
Finally, the Jets are still in on Marcus Sherels and Rod Streater, both of whom would help boost their generally awful special teams along with the decision to let punter Ryan Quigley walk. On to the next punter!
1:40PM – SO MUCH NEWS! First off, the numbers for Matt Forte’s contract have come back: 3 years, 12 million dollars, 8 million guaranteed. Considering what Chris Ivory and others have been paid, it is hard to find any complaints about that value. The Jets are banking on Forte having a LaDainian Tomlinson type two year run for them. He is a natural fit in Chan Gailey’s offense who will not have to take on too much of a workload because…
Bilal Powell is back. The Jets have long prioritized Powell among their internal free agents. The coaching staff loves him because of his versatility, reliability and how seamlessly he can play three downs. A Forte/Powell combo can line up anywhere in the formation and both players can be out there on any down.
The Jets weren’t done with just Forte and Powell though, also adding former New Orleans Saints running back Khiry Robinson, who is basically a semi poor man’s Chris Ivory. Robinson is coming off a fractured tibia last November but should be ready for the 2016 season. For his career, he has 766 rushing yards, 8 TDs and 25 receptions. His style of play is similar to Ivory’s and he will give the Jets a strong power option.
We are still waiting on final numbers for Powell and Robinson but it is likely the Jets approximately paid the price for three backs that Jacksonville paid for Ivory, while upgrading their overall backfield in the process. They now have a wide collection of skill sets, depth and have made their offense more difficult to match up with.
But what about quarterback? There is a rumor the Jets are in the bidding for Colin Kaepernick, along with Denver (who is the front runner) and Cleveland. However, many (including myself) believe this is a negotiating ploy to utilize against Ryan Fitzpatrick. It is being reported the Jets have offered Fitzpatrick slightly more than what Philadelphia paid Chase Daniel (he received 21 million over 3 years), although it is hard to pinpoint exact numbers because of how much of Daniel’s contract is built in incentives.
If Denver does ultimately land Kaepernick, the market is barren for Fitzpatrick outside of New York. It is far from the time to write off him coming back to the New York Jets but it doesn’t sound like the Jets are going to budge on their initial offer. The safe money is still on Fitz ultimately coming back but could the Jets start exploring other options beyond Kaepernick, like Brian Hoyer (shudders)?
One final note, the Jets are visiting with Marcus Sherels today, who would help solve their punt return issue and former Raiders wide receiver, Rod Streater who would be an outside, vertical receiver in Chan Gailey’s offense. He would be good insurance while Devin Smith continues to rehab from his injury and help round out a depth chart that also just put a low round tender on Kenbrell Thompkins. – Joe Caporoso
Photo Credit: LivingNewOrleans.com