The 2019 New York Jets Running Free Agency Blog

A running blog throughout the first week of NFL free agency…

We have made it – NFL free agency has arrived. Stay with us here and on Twitter all week for reactions to all the signings, near signings, trades, rumors and everything else that happens over the next seven days…

Thursday 9:30PM: Jets added slot corner Brian Poole, previously of the Atlanta Falcons. They also brought back nose tackle Steve McLendon. Both contracts are for one year. Read our initial reaction here and here is updated depth chart:

  • QB: Sam Darnold
  • RB: Le’Veon Bell, Elijah McGuire, Trenton Cannon
  • TE: Chris Herndon, Jordan Leggett, Eric Tomlinson, Daniel Brown
  • WR: Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, Jamison Crowder, Josh Bellamy, Deontay Burnett
  • RT: Brandon Shell, Brent Qvale
  • RG: Brian Winters
  • C: Jonotthan Harrison
  • LG: Kelechi Osemele, Tom Compton
  • LT: Kelvin Beachum
  • DL: Leonard Williams, Henry Anderson, Steve McLendon, Nathan Shepherd, Foley Fatukasi
  • LB: CJ Mosley, Darron Lee, Avery Williamson, Jordan Jenkins, Neville Hewitt
  • CB: Trumaine Johnson, Daryl Roberts, Brian Poole, Parry Nickerson, Derrick Jones
  • S: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Rontez Miles, Doug Middleton

Wednesday 9:00PM: The latest look at the Jets depth chart, after their decision to bring back corner Daryl Roberts at 3 years, 18 million dollars. Considering the money they paid him, the team may consider him a starter on the outside which would be a substantial risk. The Jets are also hosting former Falcons slot corner Brian Poole for a visit. Poole actually has a fairly comparable game to Buster Skrine but is a few years younger. He is a solid tackler and blitzer who can be inconsistent in coverage and has struggled at times with penalties. Elsewhere, many are speculating the Jets may add former Dolphin Josh Sitton for depth at guard or to compete at center (where he has very limited experience). Center may not be a position fully solved until after draft weekend (or not fully solved at all). The Jets also brought back special teamer and inside linebacker Neville Hewitt.

  • QB: Sam Darnold
  • RB: Le’Veon Bell, Elijah McGuire, Trenton Cannon
  • TE: Chris Herndon, Jordan Leggett
  • WR: Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, Jamison Crowder, Josh Bellamy, Deontay Burnett
  • RT: Brandon Shell
  • RG: Brian Winters
  • C: Jonotthan Harrison
  • LG: Kelechi Osemele
  • LT: Kelvin Beachum
  • DL: Leonard Williams, Henry Anderson, Nathan Shepherd, Foley Fatukasi
  • LB: CJ Mosley, Darron Lee, Avery Williamson, Jordan Jenkins, Neville Hewitt
  • CB: Trumaine Johnson, Daryl Roberts, Parry Nickerson, Derrick Jones
  • S: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye

Wednesday, 3:38PM: The latest reports today are that the Jets won’t be bringing back Pro Bowl kicker Jason Myers and Pro Bowl returner Andre Roberts. These two were key components on the number one ranked special teams unit in the league but both had outliers of seasons. It would be foolish to expect the same production of both (even with Myers tailing off towards the end of the season). Mike Maccagnan seems to be learning that you shouldn’t splurge on contracts for guys who had outlier seasons. You can sign a serviceable kicker and return guy or sign special teams players to limit that blow while retaining a good special teams unit.

As for the rest of the roster, the Jets still need to fill some holes. There were reports that they had interest in CB Pierre Desir but he re signed with the Colts. I would like see them go out and sign a Ronald Darby or Bryce Callahan to add depth to the secondary. Maybe go sign a Justin Houston once all the big money free agents are gone or trade for a newly available Emmanuel Ogbah from the Browns to get an edge. There’s still work to be done filling out the back end of the roster and it’ll be interesting to see how Maccagnan addresses it either through free agency or the trade market.

Greg Armstrong

Wednesday: 7:15AM: Updated Jets depth chart

  • QB: Sam Darnold
  • RB: Le’Veon Bell, Elijah McGuire, Trenton Cannon
  • TE: Chris Herndon, Jordan Leggett
  • WR: Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, Jamison Crowder, Josh Bellamy, Deontay Burnett
  • RT: Brandon Shell
  • RG: Brian Winters
  • C: Jonotthan Harrison
  • LG: Kelechi Osemele
  • LT: Kelvin Beachum
  • DL: Leonard Williams, Henry Anderson, Nathan Shepherd, Foley Fatukasi
  • LB: CJ Mosley, Darron Lee, Avery Williamson, Jordan Jenkins
  • CB: Trumaine Johnson, Daryl Roberts, Parry Nickerson, Derrick Jones
  • S: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye

Wednesday, 12:36AM: WE GOT HIM. After a tumultuous day of reports and teams reportedly being in the mix, the Jets finally got their guy and for below what was expected. Le’Veon Bell agreed to sign a 4 year $52.5mil deal ($35mil guaranteed) with our New York Jets.

This was a move the Jets had to get done. Sam Darnold is on his rookie contract and it’s not often that a top three-five guy at his position breaks free into the open market. What Bell brings to the table is not something you’re getting out of a Tevin Coleman or a Mark Ingram or a pick your favorite FA RB this year. He’s not only a top rusher but also brings the ability to line up as a receiver and win routes as a receiver. Bell provides the Jets offense (and more importantly Darnold) a piece that teams have to prepare for. They’re not preparing for an Eli McGuire or an Andre Roberts, they’re preparing for a top three back in the league that is as versatile as they come.

There’s still work to be done in filling in the rest of the roster but getting Bell for less than expected is a huge win for this team and GM Mike Maccagnan. He finally closed on the big acquisition. Let’s score some points and let’s win some football games.

Greg Armstrong

Tuesday, 9:08PM: Lets first start with the Jets related news. Henry Anderson is staying in Green and White on a 3 year, $25.2 million dollar deal, per Manish Mehta. Anderson proved to be a steal (Jets got him for a 7th rounder) and was the Jets best defensive lineman. He had a career high in sacks (7.0) while also being double teamed the most. The Jets are hoping he can provide sustained production under Gregg Williams and hopefully with a better pass rush.

Now to the non Jets news. Dave Gettleman continues to make moves that make Mike Maccagnan look like Bill Belichick. The Giants traded Odell Beckham to the Browns for a first round pick (17th overall), a third round pick and safety Jabril Peppers. This move makes zero sense for the Giants in two ways. The first being that the Giants doubled down on Eli Manning then took his best weapon away a year after passing on a potential franchise quarterback in favor of a running back second overall. The second being THAT’S ALL YOU CAN GET?! You’re telling me you couldn’t shop that offer around for a 26 year old, top 3-4 WR in the league and tell teams to do better than the Browns?

From the Browns perspective, this is exactly how you maximize the rookie contract window of Baker Mayfield. You surround him with as much talent as you possibly can. Some teams *cough* the Jets *cough* should take notes.

Another big piece of non Jets news is the Chiefs sending edge Dee Ford to the 49ers for a second round pick. Ford had a career high 13 sacks last season after an injury riddled, two sack 2017 campaign. This could spell good news for the Jets as the 49ers might think that’s enough to solve their edge issues and take someone else with the second overall pick. The board could break favorably for the Jets for the third year in a row, which would put them in a potentially difficult spot: trade away the third pick to help build the roster with more picks or take the best edge rusher/consensus overall player Nick Bosa. Time will tell.

Greg Armstrong

Tuesday 5:00PM: The Jets lost out on prospective center target Matt Paradis to the Carolina Panthers, where he signed a 3 year, 27 million dollar deal. The other top center on the market, Mitch Morse, went to the Buffalo Bills (who also added John Brown and Cole Beasley), leaving the Jets a notably sized gap in the middle of their offensive line.

Jonotthan Harrison is not a starter. John Sullivan is 34 years old and was PFF’s 31s ranked center last year, if that is where the Jets want to pivot. Considering their cap space, the importance of the center position and their glaring need, it is a failure by the Jets not to land Paradis or Morse. There is no reason to assume they can fix the problem in the draft based on Mike Maccagnan’s recent draft history, especially in the middle rounds. Every “they can just find a third rounder to do that” comment seems to forget who the Jets last few third rounders were.

Le’Veon Bell is still out there but with the expectation that the Jets have the most money on the table, it is not ideal if this drags out much longer. As it stands today, the Jets have added an inside linebacker (a very good one but a position they have made an acquisition at in each of the past two seasons prior with Darron Lee and Avery Williamson), a slot receiver and a starting guard. Here is their current depth chart:

  • QB: Sam Darnold
  • RB: Isaiah Crowell, Elijah McGuire, Trenton Cannon
  • TE: Chris Herndon, Jordan Leggett
  • WR: Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, Jamison Crowder, Josh Bellamy, Deontay Burnett
  • RT: Brandon Shell
  • RG: Brian Winters
  • C: Jonotthan Harrison
  • LG: Kelechi Osemele
  • LT: Kelvin Beachum
  • DL: Leonard Williams, Nathan Shepherd, Foley Fatukasi
  • LB: CJ Mosley, Darron Lee, Avery Williamson, Jordan Jenkins
  • CB: Trumaine Johnson, Daryl Roberts, Parry Nickerson, Derrick Jones
  • S: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye

 

Tuesday, 1:55PM: Anthony Barr backed out of his contract with the Jets (initial reaction) to remain with the Vikings and that’s still not the most intriguing thing thats happened today. It would be impossible to post all of the tweets pertaining to the Le’Veon Bell situation. It seems to be changing by the minute. The one source I am trusting is Ian Rapaport:

The Raiders have been mentioned along with the Bears but now it looks like it’s a two team race between the Ravens and Jets. All the while Le’Veon Bell is promoting his mixtape. Maybe he’s just using the Jets the same way Kirk Cousins did last season? I’m not entirely sure but if they have the money (they do) they should be the ones to sign Bell and give Darnold tremendous help.

Greg Armstrong

Tuesday, 12:20PM:  Per multiple reports, the Jets remain the favorites to land RB Le’Veon Bell and are still in negotiations with C Matt Paradis, even after handing out big contracts to LBs Anthony Barr and C.J. Mosley. The team has thus far been aggressive in their pursuit of high profile free agents on the defensive side of the ball, but adding Bell or Paradis would also give New York a top-tier offensive free agent.

At this point, it’s still possible they add both guys but for this offseason to be a success, it’s imperative they land at least one to give Sam Darnold and the offense some much needed support. It seems we’re inching towards some decisions so stay tuned, Jets fans… – @ben_dinapoli

Tuesday, 6:18AM: fresh off last night’s news that the Jets had signed Vikings LB Anthony Barr, news just broke that they are also signing former Ravens LB CJ Mosley. We don’t have terms on Barr’s deal yet, but Mosley’s new contract can be found here: it is a whopping 5 year, $85M deal with $51M guaranteed for the 26 year old former Raven. With Barr and Mosley now in the fold, the Jets have added two complete linebackers to pair with holdover Avery Williamson. Mosley had 105 tackles last year, and was the best defensive player for a stout Ravens defense.

This should mean the end of Darron Lee’s time with the Jets, as Maccagnan tries to recoup some draft capital from arguably his worse first round draft pick. The Jets, on paper, now have arguably the best linebacking Corp in the league, but are missing something off the edge.

#GoodJoshAllen, anyone?

Updated Depth Chart

  • QB: Sam Darnold
  • RB: Isaiah Crowell, Elijah McGuire, Trenton Cannon
  • TE: Chris Herndon, Jordan Leggett
  • WR: Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, Jamison Crowder, Josh Bellamy, Deontay Burnett
  • RT: Brandon Shell
  • RG: Brian Winters
  • C: Jonotthan Harrison
  • LG: Kelechi Osemele
  • LT: Kelvin Beachum
  • DL: Leonard Williams, Nathan Shepherd, Foley Fatukasi
  • LB: CJ Mosley, Anthony Barr, Darron Lee, Avery Williamson, Jordan Jenkins
  • CB: Trumaine Johnson, Daryl Roberts, Parry Nickerson, Derrick Jones
  • S: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye

@da_osorio

Monday, 9:35PM: We will have a longer reaction to this tomorrow, but Adam Schefter just reported that the Jets are signing former Vikings LB Anthony Barr. At 27 years old, Barr is entering the prime of his career, and from what TOJ Alumni and Bleacher Report’s Connor Rogers said here, the plan is to play Barr as a pass rusher in their new scheme. He had a 71.4 PFF Grade last year, as he graded out as the 26th best linebacker in the league. He had 23 QB disruptions last year on limited pass rushing snaps, and it seems like the Jets will want to increase that productivity. Barr is also excellent in coverage, so needless to say that the days of wheel routes beating Jets linebackers are apparently over.

Ironically, the Jets would not have been able to steal Anthony Barr unless they lost out on Kirk Cousins last year. Since the Vikings fully guaranteed the walking .500 record’s contract, they ended up losing Andrew Sendejo, their starting RG, Sheldon Richardson, and now the Jets’s LB.

Very good signing by Macchiato Mike.

@da_osorio

Monday, 8:30PM: Reaction to the Jamison Crowder signing here – The Jets also appear to be closing in on signing random Bears special teamer/wideout Josh Bellamy. Does this impact potentially bringing Andre Roberts back (remember Crowder also has experience as a returner). Here is your updated Jets depth which also factors them bringing Daryl Roberts back. (Buster Skrine signed with the Bears…GO SIGN BRYCE CALLAHAN!)

  • QB: Sam Darnold
  • RB: Isaiah Crowell, Elijah McGuire, Trenton Cannon
  • TE: Chris Herndon, Jordan Leggett
  • WR: Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, Jamison Crowder, Josh Bellamy, Deontay Burnett
  • RT: Brandon Shell
  • RG: Brian Winters
  • C: Jonotthan Harrison
  • LG: Kelechi Osemele
  • LT: Kelvin Beachum
  • DL: Leonard Williams, Nathan Shepherd, Foley Fatukasi
  • LB: Darron Lee, Avery Williamson, Jordan Jenkins
  • CB: Trumaine Johnson, Daryl Roberts, Parry Nickerson, Derrick Jones
  • S: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye

Joe Caporoso

Monday, 4:22PM:

Folks,,, we have some news. I personally am a fan of Crowder. He’s a versatile wide receiver who can lineup really anywhere but is best utilized in the slot. With the rumblings that this regime wants to use Quincy Enunwa more on the outside, this is a great signing. Michael Nania, the stat gawd, had this to say:

Not bad when you’re trying to get Darnold as much help as possible. I’m really interested to see how Adam Gase utilizes his skillset in this offense. (Maybe similar to how Albert Wilson was used last season in Miami?). He’s not a No.1 guy but is a guy that will vastly the Jets offense, WR depth and most importantly the 2nd year quarterback. –@GregArmstrong_

Monday, 4:01 PM: According to this, the Jets are in on former Broncos Center Matt Paradis. Paradis broke his fibula in November, but would solidify the C position in a way Spencer Long wasn’t good enough to. PFF rated Paradis their second best C last year, as he allowed FIVE QB disruptions in 369 pass blocking snaps, an average of 1 every 74 drop backs. If he is fully recovered from the broken leg, he may be the guy that solves the question: who replaced Nick Mangold?

-@da_osorio

Monday, 1:22 PM: The Jets have been linked to a ton of players already, but the most surprising names have been linebackers CJ Mosley (100 tackles 4 out of years) and Kwon Alexander (6 career interceptions). Whereas their aforementioned interest in Anthony Barr seemed to indicate a commitment to adding an edge rusher that had not necessarily been used like one in Minnesota, the interest in two inside linebackers seemed kind of puzzling considering the Jets have two starters already there. With Avery Williamson signed through at least this season and Darron Lee entering year four of his five year rookie deal, it didn’t make sense. At least, until now.

With the Jets looking to move on from Darron Lee, it seems they are trying to shore up the ILB position next to Williamson with either a linebacker that’s exactly like him in Mosley or a better version of Lee in Alexander, albeit one who missed 10 games last year. Or, in a wild card scenario, they could be looking for a way to move on from them both. Too early to tell, at this point.

@da_osorio

Monday, 12:09PM- As the legal tampering period has officially started, the big question around will the Jets sign Le’Veon Bell still has zero answer or even a hint of an answer.

But what has happened is the annual media spin on why the Jets should continue to bargain shop instead of paying top dollar for premium players. Manish Mehta stated one of the reasons why the Jets are hesitant to sign Bell is his mileage. That’s preposterous considering HE JUST SAT OUT AN ENTIRE SEASON OF FOOTBALL. I get it if your concerns are maybe he’s out of shape, maybe he’s using the Jets as leverage or something else that we can get behind.

We’ve seen so many spins on why the Jets shouldn’t sign players from the media, fans, etc. and it’s starting to look like the Jets should sign nobody this free agency period. There’s risks with everyone. But with the rookie QB on the rookie deal, you have to take some big swings in hopes there will be a huge reward. SIGN. GOOD. PLAYERS. –@gregarmstrong_

Monday, 8:00AM- It’s no secret the Jets have been involved with many of the slot receivers in free agency. But now, you can take one off the board. Danny Amendola is signing with the Detroit Lions, pending a physical.

I know there were one or two of you out there that thought signing Amendola would be good for the Jets, but this is for the best. They don’t have to waste any time or money on him and can just focus on other slot receivers such as Jamison Crowder, Adam Humphries, or even Cole Beasley.

Clayton Smarslok

Sunday, 8:00PM – The Jets made their first notable move of the offseason by acquiring Kelechi Osemele from the Oakland for a late round pick swap. You can read our reaction to the trade here but to keep it succinct: this was a wise, proactive move to preempt a thin offensive line market. If he can stay healthy, Osemele will be a notable upgrade over James Carpenter. Based on who is under contract, here is roughly the Jets depth chart as of today:

  • QB: Sam Darnold
  • RB: Isaiah Crowell, Elijah McGuire, Trenton Cannon
  • TE: Chris Herndon, Jordan Leggett
  • WR: Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, Deontay Burnett
  • RT: Brandon Shell
  • RG: Brian Winters
  • C: Jonotthan Harrison
  • LG: Kelechi Osemele
  • LT: Kelvin Beachum
  • DL: Leonard Williams, Nathan Shepherd, Foley Fatukasi
  • LB: Darron Lee, Avery Williamson, Jordan Jenkins
  • CB: Trumaine Johnson, Parry Nickerson, Derrick Jones
  • S: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye

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