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
Joe Caporoso Twitter – Scott Mason Twitter – Dalbin Osorio Twitter – David Aitken Twitter – Joe Malfa Twitter – Kyle Fahey Twitter – The Jet Take Twitter – Greg Armstrong Twitter – Dan Mosher Twitter – Daniel Essien Twitter – Jake Benaquisto Twitter
10:45PM – A wrap on today with the following:
- Thoughts on Jets signing ILB Avery Williamson
- New podcast featuring Connor Rogers on day two of free agency
8:45 PM – Jets sign QB Teddy Bridgewater to a 1 year, 5 million dollar deal.
I am perfectly okay with this signing for New York on one condition, don’t let it preclude them from drafting a QB early. With this signing, it seems the Jets will stay at 6 and hope either Mayfield, Rosen, or Darnold falls. If they land one of them, a QB room of McCown, Bridgewater, and a rookie is pretty solid. But if Maccagnan thinks this is the solution to the QB problem, I will be livid.
Teddy B was a pro-bowler and a young QB full of potential, before his devastating knee injury. He is smart, accurate, and mobile but his issues lie in his arm strength and injury concerns.
Overall solid signing for the Jets at terrific value, if they add another QB at 6, I will be ecstatic.
8:10 PM – More Johnson thoughts here.
All focus on center and corner now. Ryan Jensen, Spencer Long, EJ Gaines and Rahsaan Melvin are all still on the market. The Jets may also still make moves at tight end and linebacker.
7:45 pM – New Podcast! New Corner! The Jets have signed CB Trumaine Johnson to a 15 million per year contract, taking a large step towards fixing one of their weakest positions. More coming soon…
— Joe Caporoso (@JCaporoso) March 13, 2018
6:15 PM – The Jets are bringing back Josh McCown on a 1 year, 10 million dollar contract. (WHO COULD HAVE SAW THIS COMING!) and they are apparently still interested in signing Teddy Bridgewater (a move I wrote about at length here). There a few problematic things here, namely that they are paying a 39 year old 10 million dollars to replicate a career year from a health and production standpoint. Also, if they sign Bridgewater to go with McCown, how does a rookie quarterback get any reps in practice to develop? We just tried the carbonite route with Hackenberg and we know how that has worked out.
It feels like a misguided use of resources. If you want McCown to coach and/mentor, make him your quarterback coach. Unless…
A source tells @NewsdaySports Josh McCown has been told he will be the starter, however, interest in Teddy Bridgewater remains.
— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) March 13, 2018
It is hard to even wrap your head around this, so I’m likely just going to vent it out in a podcast tonight.
The Jets have also signed running back Isaiah Crowell to a 3 year contract. He had 853 yards last year with a 4.1 YPC and 2 touchdowns. The 25 year old is likely to function as an early down compliment to Bilal Powell. This is an okay signing but the Jets shouldn’t be ignoring all the talent at running back in this year’s draft class.
Ob, the Jets still need corner and center help.
4:42 PM – According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Jets are working on a deal to sign QB Teddy Bridgewater. Though the former Vikings signal caller has other options, both sides appear to be eager to get a deal done.
Many Jets fans, myself included, were disappointed to see the team miss out on Kirk Cousins, but Minnesota always felt like the heavy favorite. In terms of potential, the Jets may end up acquiring the second best QB on the market. Bridgewater has a career 64.7% completion with a 28 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. If he can stay healthy, it’s fair to assume that he’d be the best quarterback the Jets have had in years.
Bridgewater would be a good start, but Mike Maccagnan still has a lot of work to do this offseason. The Jets have too many holes on their roster to rely solely on the draft, and with $90 million in cap space, Maccagnan must be aggressive while there’s still talent available on the open market.
2:41 PM – For the months and months of getting our hopes up for Kirk Cousins to potentially become a Jet. For the months and months of waving all of this cap space in front of other teams faces saying “money talks”. For the months and months of actually thinking this will finally be the year that the Jets get it right at QB and we are staring the down the barrel of a gun held by either Josh McCown or Teddy Bridgewater.
I don’t know what is happening at 1 Jets Drive. Is Mike Maccagnan updating his phone and hasn’t been able to use it for two days? Is he on a no call list? Is he healthy and breathing?
With what’s happened in the last 27 hours, Maccagnan needs to realize he’s now under immense pressure to retool this team. You’re going to miss out on free agents. Every team does. But with all of this cap space, we haven’t heard the Jets be linked to really any top tier guys from this free agency class that have been signed.
The pressure is now on for Maccagnan to hit on whatever moves he makes. You have to hit on upgrading the center position. You have to hit on upgrading at cornerback. We knew this before tampering started. But now, these moves are going to be under a much brighter spotlight.
If the Jets don’t upgrade positions of need and are expecting to retool in the draft, they’re in fantasy land. You’re going to have to give up one or maybe even both of your second rounders to move up and get your quarterback. Your once ideal position of having the highest cap space and being able to acquire assets with three picks in the first two rounds doesn’t look so sweet anymore. There’s still a lot of time left to make moves but as of now, this is not what you wanted to see from 1 Jets Drive.
Plan A has been lit on fire. Just like Joe mentioned below, go out there, strap up those boots and go execute on your Plan B. – Greg Armstrong
12:30 PM – Kirk Cousins is officially going to Minnesota so THERE GOES THAT!
Send your GIF reaction to the #Jets free agency period so far…
— Joe Caporoso (@JCaporoso) March 13, 2018
So what now? Putting whatever boring, mediocre veteran addition at quarterback happens aside, cornerback still needs to be fixed, center still needs to be fixed and more talent is needed at the offensive skill positions. Today and tomorrow are still salvageable (especially for somebody who had a dream offseason that didn’t involve Kirk Cousins). If the following happens:
- A new center is added: Ryan Jensen or Spencer Long
- A new corner (or two) is added: Trumaine Johnson, EJ Gaines, Bashaud Breeland, or Malcolm Butler
- A skill position piece is added: Tyler Eifert, John Brown, Jerick McKinnon, Donte Moncrief, Albert Wilson
- A linebacker is added: Demario Davis, Avery Williamson, Alex Okafor
Pick yourselves up off the mat and execute a Plan B.
11:45 AM – News! And it isn’t good. By multiple reports, Kirk Cousins will be visiting Minnesota over the next two days and has a 3 year, 28 million dollar per year offer that he is more than likely to accept. Nothing is confirmed yet but from everything out there right now, it sounds like he is joining the Vikings. The Jets rumored pivot is now going to be to Teddy Bridgewater or Josh McCown. Whatever veteran they sign, the Jets MUST move themselves up into the top three of the NFL Draft to make sure they get one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s class (Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen or Baker Mayfield). If the cannot pull this off and get stuck with the 4th or 5th best quarterback in the class (newsflash, Buffalo and Miami are trying to trade up too), it is a failure by this current regime.
In other news, tight end Trey Burton has signed with the Chicago Bears, who are doing a great job building around Mitch Trubisky. Another Jets target off the board.
Meanwhile at Florham Park… – Joe Caporoso
— Joe Caporoso (@JCaporoso) March 13, 2018
10:43 AM – As another hour passes, another free agent linked to the Jets reportedly is ready to sign with another team. This time it’s Weston Richburg to San Francisco.
Former Giants’ C-G Weston Richburg intends to sign a 5-year deal with the SF 49ers when free agency opens, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2018
With Richburg reportedly off the table, the Jets should look to sign former Ravens center Ryan Jensen (who is a better player than Richburg without the injuries) or go nab former Redskins center Spencer Long, who has some experience with a pretty highly touted QB in this free agency class.
There was also this tidbit from Daniel Jeremiah.
Once Keenum agreed with Denver, Cousins leverage went through the roof with Minnesota. They lost their backup plan. I'll be surprised if they don't do what's necessary to get that deal done.
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 13, 2018
This may mean nothing or this may mean everything. But with Minnesota now almost certainly having to up their offer for Cousins, this opens the door for the Jets to swoop in and really sell the idea that hey, we can give you a boat load of money without having to sacrifice any of our pieces down the road.
We’re not even 24 hours in people. Panic should not have set in yet! – Greg Armstrong
7:15 AM – Good morning, things are happening! Over the night, Case Keenum has committed to the Denver Broncos, likely on a 18-20 million dollar per year contract. We discussed the Keenum/Broncos connection last week on our podcast with Benjamin Allbright. I wouldn’t assume Denver is “out” on taking a quarterback at #5 yet but it effectively removes them from the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes and puts more pressure on Minnesota to find a new answer at quarterback. At this point, it is a three team race for Cousins: Vikings, Jets and Cardinals and we are getting a KIRK VS. TIME MINI-SERIES so make sure you are camera ready, Mr. Maccagnan.
Outside of that, the Giants swung and miss on guard Andrew Norwell who is heading to Jacksonville (IDZIK SZN) and Allen Robinson is signing with the Chicago Bears (BOOO!). It helps to have a quarterback in place when recruiting receivers. Speaking of that, Sammy Watkins will be joining Pat Mahomes in Kansas City in an offense that is going to be a blast to watch. Albert Wilson, Donte Moncrief, John Brown and others still remain out there on the market yet Robinson or Watkins would have been a nice piece to add, regardless of who the quarterback ends up being for the Jets.
What to watch for today? Cousins updates. Is he taking visits? What is the timeline on his decision? What teams is he tagging in his articles? Beyond that, will the Jets make a move at the center position and does Austin Seferian-Jenkins get locked down elsewhere? What is going on at cornerback?
Bring us news! – Joe Caporoso