TOJ Pick Six: Free Agents For New York Jets Connected To Coaching Staff

Dalbin Osorio with six free agents connected to the current New York Jets coaching staff they could target

The Pick Six is back like we re-signed Ryan Fitzpatrick, as we turn our attention to arguably the most important off-season for the New York Jets. Faster than Paulie can lose a round to me in What’s Your Point, the beginning of the league year is a week away. Armed with almost $100M in cap space, and a few difference makers set to potentially hit the market, the New York Jets need to be in on just about everybody as they try to end playoff drought that’s nearing TEN seasons. Instead of giving you only guys that I would target overall, I wanted to give you a list of guys the team can realistically  target that have a connection to the current coaching staff. Let’s do what Sam Darnold shouldn’t do on his first snap next season, and return this pick six:

1. Golden Tate, WR
Connection: RB Coach Jim Bob Cooter
Stats: 611 REC, 7214 YDS, 80 TDs
PFF Grade: 71.6 (46th WR in NFL)
Why: Tate struggled in Philadelphia after a mid-season trade, but he still has a knack for getting open and getting first downs (36 first downs last year). Tate is also still a very good run blocker, so he’d contribute in the run game, but something that the Jets  sorely need to get Sam Darnold Is someone that can beat soft zones and man coverage and extend drives. Tate has won a Super Bowl before, and he should come cheaper than a guy like Tyrell Williams (who is essentially a worse Robby Anderson) or Adam Humphries (who is about to get paid). Tate’s best statistical season came in Detroit with Jim Bob Cooter calling the plays.
2. Tyler Kroft, TE
Connection: OL Coach Frank Pollack 
Stats: 67 REC, 661 YDS, 8 TDs
PFF Grade: 55.8 
Why: Oft-injured as he is, some people might Scott at Tyler Kroft as a potential addition to the Jets. However, with new Head Coach Adam Gase’s offense utilizing West Coast spacing concepts, Air Coryell vertical concepts, and route combinations you’re going to need as many talented pass catchers as possible. A former 3rd round pick who, when healthy, is a matchup nightmare in the red zone, Kroft would team with Jets second year TE Chris Herndon to provide another reliable target in the middle of the field for Darnold. Kroft has a career 70 percent catch rate, which is higher than anyone currently on the Jets. He’s a better run blocker than Herndon, and would add another pass catchers to a group in desperate need of one.
3. Josh Sitton, OG
Connection: Head Coach Adam Gase
PFF Grade: 62.0
Why: With the Jets needing two starters on the offensive line, adding one that has played for Adam Gase and therefore has experience running his system is a must. Before being injured early in last year’s season, Sitting was widely regarded as the best pass blocking guard in the NFL, as he allowed one pressure every 45 snaps between 2016 and 2017. Replacing James Carpenter with Sitton is an upgrade, and allows for the Jets to not be pigeonholed into taking an offensive lineman early unless they want to. Sitton is also a former three time All-Pro, so adding him would be a huge get.
4. RB Mark Ingram
Connection: LB Coach Joe Vitt
Stats: 1321 carries, 6007 yards, 4.5 YPC, 50 TDs
PFF Grade: 79.4 (16th RB in NFL)
Why: The Jets are expected to be all in on LeVeon Bell, but you hope they have a fallback plan just in case. If they don’t target Tevin Coleman, Mark Ingram would make sense as a potential 1A option to a drafted RB. Ingram has been a productive RB for most of his career, but due to splitting time with other backs (as well as some injuries and a suspension) he is only averaging 165 carries a season. Not much of a receiving threat, which is why he’s probably best paired with another back, but still a solid presence in the locker room and a New Jersey native. Adding Ingram would be the kind of name signing that would not be as terrible a fall back option as others, despite him being 29 years old.
5. OLB Derrick Morgan
Connection: Assistant Head Coach Shawn Jefferson
Stats: 44.5 career sacks
PFF Grade: 61.9 (73rd OLB in NFL)
Why: The Jets, as always, are in the hunt for pass rushing help. While they have taken their swings in the past (Nick Perry, Olivier Vernon, trading for Dante Fowler and Khalil Mack), they have yet to land someone that can get to the QB with some regularity. While Derrick Morgan shouldn’t be the only pass rusher they go after, adding Morgan to the pass rushing group would be a good start. He was banged up last year, but had 7.5 sacks in 2017 and 9.5 sacks in 2016. He also played a monster game versus Kansas City in the playoffs, showing that he does still in fact have something left in the tank. The Jets currently have arguably the worst edge group in the league, so adding a guy like Morgan would be a step towards fixing that.
6. OG Rodger Saffold
Connection: Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams
PFF Grade: 72.8 (#9 Guard in the NFL)
Why: if the Jets opted to move on from Brian Winters this offseason, or decided to not go after the aforementioned Sitton, they could make a huge offer to the 31 year old Saffold, a former All-Pro who just made his first Pro Bowl this past year. If they chose to move on from Winters and add Sitton AND Saffold, then suddenly that’s an interior OL pairing that would give defensive linemen fits. Saffold has developed into one of the better offensive linemen in the league, and won’t come cheap, but the Jets have a need and he’s the best one slated to hit the market. Mike Maccagnan needs to protect his investment, and it starts with revamping this OL.
Prediction:
Jets sign Golden Tate, Mark Ingram, and Josh Sitton

Author: Dalbin Osorio

Dalbin Osorio is a Case Planner for Graham-Windham, New York's oldest child welfare agency. He is, also, a student at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Dalbin graduated from Monroe College with a degree in Business Administration. A 3 sport utility man in high school (think a mix of Jerome WIlliams, Brad Smith, and Jayson Nix), he joined TOJ in 2013.