NFL Free Agency – The Running Blog, Day One (3/12)

A running blog of DAY ONE of 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:

10:30 PM – Things took a more stressful turn today when the Bills made a trade with the Bengals.

This complicates things even more for the Jets if they don’t end up signing Kirk Cousins. The Bills now have the 12th, 22nd, 53rd, 56th, 65th and 96th picks. That’s more than enough ammo to leapfrog the Jets at six. The Bills are now in prime position to steal one of the top quarterbacks in the draft. For all of the Jet fans that actually thought sitting tight at six would net them Baker Mayfield or Josh Rosen, if this doesn’t open your eyes to realize that simply is not an option I honestly don’t know what to tell you anymore.   Let’s all hope the Bills have a massive affinity for the big quarterback with a cannon arm and even bigger accuracy questions in Josh Allen. – Greg Armstrong

9:00PM – Here is how I would sum up today:

It was a quiet first day. The only real news related to the Jets was that JAG pass rusher Berson Mayowa visited and left to also talk with the Redskins, Austin Seferian-Jenkins is drawing interest in Seattle and Kirk Cousins has not made a decision yet. As much as we like to joke, it isn’t time to panic yet and it is good news for the Jets that Cousins is still undecided and appears down to either the Vikings or them.

All of the top centers, quarterbacks, cornerbacks, receivers and tight ends remain on the board. The Jets haven’t lost any internal free agents yet (even if they do, there is nobody catastrophic who is not replaceable with the right corresponding move). It is early and the next few days will unquestionably have more news and transactions associated with them. The Mayowa interest is logical if the Jets are ready to let Kony Ealy walk. The Avery Williamson interest is logical if they don’t want to overpay Demario Davis based on 14 good games that were an outlier to the rest of his career. It is okay to lose ASJ if they are going to compete for players like Trey Burton and Tyler Eifert.

Patience is still okay at this moment…

3:21 PM– To take a page out of Aaron Rodgers’ book: R-E-L-A-X. Just because there hasn’t been much of any news regarding the Jets and (insert free agent here) doesn’t necessarily mean they’re sitting on their hands. Adam Schefter reported that Trey Burton is looking for $6-7 million a year which should be a no brainer if you’re the Jets, like Joe mentioned below. The Jets have also been linked to Avery Williamson. Don’t get too caught up now in who the Jets are or aren’t being linked to.The biggest news to come out so far today has been Kirk Cousins (or whoever is running his website) either meaning to tag the Jets and Vikings in his farewell post or an excellent troll job to make everyone lose their minds.

The tags most likely mean nothing. It’s been widely reported that the Jets and Vikings are in a two team race to acquire Cousins’ talents. However, I’m starting to get a weird feeling that maybe the gap between the Vikings and Jets in the Cousins race isn’t as big as reports have made it seem. It’s still very early and we probably won’t get an answer until later on this week or this weekend but I wouldn’t quite count on the Vikings have an insurmountable lead in the race to sign Kirk Cousins. – Greg Armstrong

12:50 PM – Joe Caporoso mentioned it earlier this morning but in case you missed it, Austin Seferian-Jenkins is drawing a lot of interest from the Seahawks and Falcons and has posted some cryptic comments on instagram that may suggest he is on the way out of New York. A lot of fans seem to like him and will surely be overreacting to his seemingly inevitable departure, but I just want to take a moment to tell you all to relax. Sure, his production was a breath of fresh air on a team that has not had a legitimate tight end threat since the first couple of seasons of Dustin Keller’s career, but he is expendable. Trey Burton could be brought in if ASJ heads out, and I think that is an improvement. On top of that, if he goes to Seattle, that all but guarantees Jimmy Graham is on his way out and he would be another target the Jets could immediately go after. To piggy-back off what Dalbin mentioned earlier, it will be important to get other pieces in the building during this tampering period to help woo Kirk Cousins. If the Jets sign Richburg/Jensen, Robinson, and Burton/Graham, Cousins might be a little more eager to take his talents to East Rutherford. – Joe Malfa

12:23 PM – Maccagnan needs to be fired today for the lack of activity… ok, now that we got the knee jerk reaction out of the way, we can really focus on the task at hand, and that is the New York Jets needing to make three additions now that the “legal tampering” period has opened up in order to be the best team positioned when Kirk Cousins meets with them. The two on offense that i’d make? Weston Richburg and Allen Robinson, and I would not be shy about paying both of them what I need to pay to get them inked. Robinson is a legitimate beast, an animal on the outside, who is expected to be healthy come Week 1. Richburg, when healthy, is one of the better Centers in football and he fits the expected scheme of Jeremy Bates/Rick Dennison very well. These are two names the Jets have been linked to, with varying degrees of interest, and Maccagnan needs to make these the first two names on the offensive side of the ball that the Jets should ink. The third? New England Patriots corner Malcolm Butler, because while he isn’t as good as Patriots fans talked him up he is not as bad as he showed at times last year, and this both weakens the Pats while improves the Jets secondary ten fold. Make those 3 moves Maccagnan. – Dalbin Osorio Twitter

10:15AM – Interesting range of responses here:

The Jets are showing interest in Dallas Cowboys Defensive End Benson Mayowa. Last season, he had one sack and 16 quarterback hurries (ranked 42/64 4-3 defensive ends with at least 250 snaps) but in 2016 he did rack up 6 sacks. He would seem to be an alternative to Kony Ealy for the defensive line rotation. To date, he’s been a JAG but could function as a useful rotational player.

8:30AM – Happy tampering day! The early rumors around the New York Jets are focused on Kirk Cousins, who is now rumored to NOT be taking visits the week and improving their abysmal center position. There has been the most chatter around New York Giants center Weston Richburg but here is a Ryan Jensen mention, who may be a better option anyway.

Outside of that, Austin Seferian-Jenkins is apparently drawing interest from Seattle and Atlanta. The Jets should not be in a rush to break the bank for him, especially if they are going to explore a player like Trey Burton or Tyler Eifert instead. There has also been rumored interest in Dion Lewis, which doesn’t make all that much sense considering the presence of Bilal Powell on the roster who is basically the same player but would likely be cheaper and more durable.

I don’t think Cousins has made his mind up yet but it will be interesting to see if he actually does take any visits or what the next set of rumors around him look like. It sounds like at this point, Minnesota and the Jets are frontrunners with Arizona and Denver still in the mix. TIS THS SZN!

– 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