New York Jets – Who to Avoid in Free Agency

Jake Benaquisto on free agents the New York Jets should avoid this offseason

After a miserable 2016 season, the New York Jets once again find themselves in need of a significant roster overhaul. In the 2015 offseason, GM Mike Maccagnan made several signings in free agency that proved to be ineffective for the long term success of the team. Players such as Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, and Marcus Gilchrist seemed like great fits at the time, but their performance (or lack there of for Cromartie) last year proved otherwise. While it is essential for the Jets to use free agency wisely to rebuild their roster, Maccagnan must avoid the splashy signings that inevitably hurt the team.

Though the Jets do not currently have a lot of cap space, there are moves to be made that can free up a lot of money. By parting ways with declining veterans such as Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold, and David Harris, the Jets could free up to $22 million in cap space. In addition to this, the Jets could move on from Sheldon Richardson and Brandon Marshall, which would give the team another $15 million to spend in free agency. With the money that the Jets could potentially save by gutting their roster, the team could be in a great position to sign free agents this offseason.

The 2017 free agent class is loaded with big names and talent, however, many players will likely be overpaid and overvalued. Here are some names that the Jets should stay away from when free agency begins.

QB Mike Glennon – It’s no secret that the Jets have a major hole at the quarterback position. With only Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty under contract for 2017, the Jets will likely look for a veteran quarterback in free agency to compete for the starting gig. One of the names that many quarterback-needy teams will have their eyes on is Mike Glennon. As the backup to Jameis Winston for the Buccaneers, Glennon only appeared in two games in 2016, and before that did not have snap since 2014. His numbers are decent in what little action he received, throwing for a combined 30 touchdowns and 15 interceptions from 2013-2016. With many teams desperate to find an answer at quarterback, Glennon could receive a deal in free agency worth $13-15 million per year, according to an ESPN report.

That is a lot of money for someone who has not been a starter for two years. If the Jets were to spend big on a quarterback this offseason, it would make a lot more sense for them to go after a proven commodity such as Kirk Cousins or Tyrod Taylor if they become available. Glennon has had his moments of success, but so did Brock Osweiler, and Mike Maccagnan cannot afford to make the same mistake as his former team.

WR Alshon Jeffrey – While many fans would love to see Jeffrey in green and white, he just would not be a great fit with the Jets. To land the talented Bears receiver, the Jets would likely have to give out a massive contract of at least $15 million per year. This Jets team simply has too many holes on their roster to allocate this type of money to a position that is already strong. Even if Maccagnan decides to move on from Decker or Marshall, the wide receiver depth is still one of the team’s strongest positions. Instead of spending big money on a receiver coming off a PED suspension, the Jets should use their cap space to fill bigger holes on the roster.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul – The Jets are in desperate need of playmakers on defense that can rush the quarterback. JPP has shown in the past his ability to do this, but that does not mean the Jets should sign him. With Mo Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, and an emerging Leonard Williams, the Jets already have a stacked defensive line. Adding JPP to this unit would likely mean the departure of Sheldon Richardson, who may be on his way out regardless. There’s no question that Pierre-Paul would be an upgrade over Richardson, but his presence would likely have very little impact for the Jets’ defense. Right now, interior pressure is one of the defense’s only strengths, and JPP would only make the unit slightly better than it already is. Instead of adding to a strength, the Jets need to create a pass rush from their edge players, which would significantly benefit the rest of the defense as a whole.

OLB DeMarcus Ware – At one point in his career, DeMarcus Ware was one of the most feared defenders in the NFL. Between 2006 and 2012, the former Cowboy recorded double digit sacks every single year. Unfortunately, Ware’s abilities in recent years have been drastically diminished. In 2016, he was placed on IR due to a back injury, and finished the season with career lows in sacks, tackles, and games played. Although the Jets do have a massive hole at outside linebacker, they cannot take a chance on the declining veteran. With a roster that already is filled with old, overpaid players, the Jets need to finally embrace a youth movement and clean house. It is possible that Ware could bounce back in 2017 and regain his old form, but at 34 years old he would likely be better off going to a contender rather than the rebuilding Jets.

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