While Valentines Day may have passed and the season of love is in our rear view windows, there’s a lot to love about all the cap space and picks the New York Jets will have this spring. The big name signings and draft picks will get the most buzz come March and April but here are some under the radar moves I’d like to see the Jets make that will improve the team but maybe not the back page headlines of the Post.
Free Agency Moves
Sign Paul Richardson
There’s no guarantee that Allen Robinson, this years most coveted potential free agent receiver, even hits the open market. The Jaguars will most likely place the franchise tag on him. Jarvis Landry is another option at wide receiver but for the amount of money he will most likely be commanding, for a guy who is best suited as a slot receiver (the Jets still have Quincy Enunwa, remember him?), it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
Paul Richardson will be a cheaper option than both of those guys and can still give you similar production. He’s got a thinner frame at 175 lbs but he’s very good at high pointing the ball and snatching it. Last season, in his first season as a starter for the Seahawks, he had 44 catches for 703 yards and 6 touchdowns. A wide receiver core of Richardson-Anderson-Enunwa-Kearse looks a lot more enticing for a Kirk Cousins and also gives the Jets a good core if they miss on Cousins and have to draft a quarterback.
Sign Dion Lewis and trade Bilal Powell
If Lewis hits the market, which seems likely considering Bill Belichick doesn’t usually break the bank for running backs, the Jets should be all in on him. He had 896 yards rushing and 6 touchdowns to go along with 32 receptions and 3 touchdowns last season in his first full season. He’s a do it all back that would fit nicely into the Jets scheme next season.
As much as we all love Bilal Powell in a Jets uniform, the time seems right to trade him. The Jets might be able to get a fourth or fifth round pick for him and they should pull the trigger if a team calls. He’s shown that he can be a do it all back as well but when his number is called to be the feature back, he ends up banged up. The Jets can trade Powell, acquire more draft pieces and still draft a running back in the draft.
Sign Patrick Robinson
Corner is a big need for the Jets heading into next season. I don’t blame the team for not wanting to break the bank on a Trumaine Johnson or a Malcolm Butler. The last time the Jets broke the bank for cornerbacks (2015 with Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie and Buster Skrine), it didn’t end all that well.
Robinson is 30 but he will cost substantially less than Johnson and Butler. He was rated the sixth best cornerback in football last season, according to Pro Football Focus. He had four interceptions, 18 pass deflections and was the seventh best corner in coverage according to PFF. Spotrac has him slotted at getting $6.7 million a year, which is a lot less than Johnson and Butler. His age is a little high for corners but he could be worth it at that price.
Use 3rd Round Pick on Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (EDGE)
This guy is a freak and if he’s available in the third round, the Jets should pounce. His smaller frame gives him an advantage with leverage against linemen while his long arms allow him to keep guys off of him. If he gets a step on guys he’s deadly but according to some who were at the Senior Bowl, if linemen got their hands on him he wasn’t as effective. The Jets need an edge rusher and while he might not be the guy, the team can sign a guy in free agency and draft Okoronkwo in the third. More pass rushers are better than less pass rushers.
Use 4th Round Pick on Ryan Izzo (TE)
Austin Seferian-Jenkins is a great story but he might be on his way out if the Jets don’t want to pony up for the amount he wants. Izzo isn’t quite the receiver that Penn State’s Mike Gisecki is but he’s very aggressive after the catch, has very good hands and attacks the ball to get it. His blocking is his best attribute and it might be worth it to take a cheaper route than Seferian-Jenkins.
Use 5th Round Pick on Dante Pettis (WR)
Pettis is not only a good receiver (22 receiving touchdowns in his last two seasons), he can potentially solve the Jets anemic punt return game. Pettis had nine punt returns for touchdowns in his four years at Washington. The Jets haven’t had a punt return for a touchdown since 2012 when Jeremy Kerley brought one back. Pettis could turn the Jets return game from non existent to competent.
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