NFL Free Agency – The Running Blog, Day Four (3/15)

A running blog of day four in NFL Free Agency…

We made it! NFL Free Agency is here and we are ready for excessive takes, tweets and money to be spent. There will be running coverage each day in an article like this, on our various Twitter accounts and across our podcasts. So make sure you are following us in all the appropriate places.

HERE IS DAY ONE

HERE IS DAY TWO

HERE IS DAY THREE

Joe Caporoso TwitterScott Mason Twitter Dalbin Osorio TwitterDavid Aitken TwitterJoe Malfa TwitterKyle Fahey TwitterThe Jet Take TwitterGreg Armstrong TwitterDan Mosher TwitterDaniel Essien Twitter  Jake Benaquisto Twitter

6:45PM – New The Jet Take Podcast is linked right here! There is also a new Turn On The Jets Podcast coming tonight (with myself and Dom Cosentino) and a new Play Like A Jet Podcast (with Scott Mason and Daryl Slater)…SO MUCH CONTENT!

It has been a quiet day so far for the Jets (they did sign kicker Cairo Santos to replace Chandler Catanzaro), here is how I’d rank their current needs:

  1. Quarterback – Most important position and there is still no adequate long term answer on the roster. This will (hopefully) be fixed in the NFL Draft.
  2. Pass Rusher/Defensive Line – Insane that after all these years defensive line is a legitimate need and pass rusher has been a need for about two centuries. Right now the only rostered Jets defensive linemen who have a name you’d recognize are Steve McLendon and Leonard Williams. The current projected starting linebackers are Darron Lee, Avery Williamson, Jordan Jenkins and Josh Martin/Lorenzo Mauldin. HELP WANTED!
  3. Cornerback – Trumaine Johnson is a start but there is work to be done. In a perfect world Buster Skrine is replaced by Tyrann Mathieu and a player like Rashaan Melvin or EJ Gaines is added on the outside to support Johnson.
  4. Tight End – It would be good to have another body to support the current room of Eric Tomlsinon, Neal Sterling and Jordan Leggett. How about Luke Wilson or Eric Ebron?

12:20PM – Results of our Lamar Jackson poll:

12:15 PM Taking stock of what has happened in the last three days, the Jets have put themselves in a nice position roster wise. Missing out on Cousins wasn’t the back breaker that it seemed like it would be because Mike Maccagnan executed on his Plan B at quarterback. Signing Teddy Bridgewater to a one year deal is fine considering you might miss out on your quarterback depending on how the board breaks in the draft. Bridgewater is a low risk, high reward signing and, if he stays healthy and shows he can still play, is someone that could be on the roster in 2019 and beyond.

We found out that the Isaiah Crowell deal is very team friendly with a cap hit of only $2 million in 2018 and $5 million in 2019 and 2020. Not bad for a 25 year old back.

Trumaine Johnson might have gotten overpaid but when you need a top tier cornerback in a market where there aren’t many, you’re going to have to suck it up. That’s what that cap space is for. Now they need to address getting another cornerback to play opposite him.

The guy I have my sights set on now is Tyrann Mathieu. The Cardinals decided they’d rather pay Sam Bradford more than the Honey Badger which is perfectly okay for the Jets, who should be all over signing him. He plays in the secondary but doesn’t have a set position. He can play safety, drop into the box and play as a hybrid linebacker and handle his own as a slot corner. He is the perfect guy for Todd Bowles’ defense and has the connection with Bowles, playing for the Cardinals when he was the defensive coordinator. Jamal Adams has been heavy on the recruiting trail for him and I think more likely than not a deal gets done.

Edge rusher is still a position of need and for the first time in what seems like forever, the Jets defensive line doesn’t have a ton of depth. Those are two areas that I expect Maccagnan to sure up as we move forward. – Greg Armstrong

ICYMI: Joe Caporoso joined The Asman and Budick Show with DiBernardo to talk all things Jets free agency!

8:00 AM – Day four! Make sure you didn’t miss our discussion last night with Corey Griffin on all the action so far.  Let’s take a step back with a look at what the Jets current two deep depth chart looks:

  • QB – Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater
  • RB – Isaiah Crowell, Bilal Powell
  • FB – Lawrence Thomas
  • WR – Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, Chad Hansen
  • TE – Eric Tomlinson, Neal Sterling
  • OT – Kelvin Beachum, Brandon Shell, Brent Qvale
  • OG – James Carpenter, Brian Winters, Dakota Dozier
  • C – Spencer Long
  • DT – Steve McLendon, Deon Simon
  • DE – Leonard Williams, Claude Pelon
  • ILB – Avery Williamson, Darron Lee
  • OLB – Jordan Jenkins, Josh Martin, Lorenzo Mauldin
  • CB – Trumaine Johnson, Buster Skrine, Daryl Roberts, Juston Burris
  • S – Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Terrence Brooks, Rontez Miles

Despite a good few days, there is still work to be done. The Jets need to beef up their defensive line depth (Kony Ealy, Mike Pennel and Xavier Cooper are not under contract), improve at outside linebacker (there is one starting caliber player on the roster) and continue to overhaul cornerback. Offensively, there is a hole at tight end and another weapon at receiver wouldn’t hurt. Quarterback isn’t going to be addressed until the NFL Draft.

There is still plenty of talent on the market for the Jets to keep building on what they started with the Johnson, Long, Williamson and Crowell signings. Let’s go to work. – Joe Caporoso 

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