The Jets’ were in on their fair share of big market names at the start of this free agency period. Two of the more under-the-radar moves that they did make were Tom Compton and Chandler Catanzaro signings. Let’s take a closer look at those moves below.
On March 18th, the Jets signed Tom Compton to a one-year deal. Compton, a seven-year veteran offensive lineman who played 2018 with Minnesota, has played at both left and right guard, as well as tackle in his career with the Redskins, Falcons and Bears before landing in Minnesota. Most of his starting experience came last season with the Vikings when he started all fourteen games played at left guard. Compton’s signing is purely a depth move, as it would be difficult to see him pushing Brian Winters for his starting spot. Compton has good size at 6’6” and 315 pounds, but his overall performance (60.6 grade according to PFF) and inability to crack the starting lineup where he has been (only 30 starts in seven years), suggest that this was a depth move.
Maccagnan was aggressive in the trade for Kelechi Osemele and made a proactive trade to address a need. However, there are still holes on the offensive line and a serious lack of depth at all positions, Compton’s signing addresses a need and brings in a versatile player with starting experience.
Chandler Catanzaro, who spent 2017 as the Jets’ kicker, comes back in his second stint with the team for the 2019 season. He played his first three years in Arizona before joining the Jets in 2017, and then played 2018 with Tampa Bay and Carolina. On the surface, this signing says more about 2018 All-Pro Jets’ Kicker Jason Myers than it does about Catanzaro. Myers had a career year in 2018, making almost 92% of his field goals with the Jets and earning himself a spot in the Pro Bowl. It appears Mike Maccagnan assessed Myers’ value, figuring that despite having a career year, he would somewhat regress back to the mean of his days in Jacksonville, and he didn’t budge on that number. Myers ended up signing a 4-year, $15 million deal with Seattle and the Jets’ turned to Catanzaro and signed him to a one-year deal.
Over their careers, Myers and Catanzaro have comparable numbers. Myers’ has a slight edge in FG% by 1% over Catanzaro, while Catanzaro’s XP% is more than 5% better than Myers’. It would be safe to assume that the Jets will be bringing in another leg or two in camp to compete with Catanzaro, but the job would be his to lose.
Maccagnan seems to have taken a hardline approach with Myers and learned from previous mistakes of over-valuing his own players (See Fitzpatrick and Wilkerson). Bringing Catanzaro back doesn’t tie the Jets into a big contract to a replaceable player who will most likely regress back to his standard performance. Compton’s signing was a subtle move that provides depth at a position of need.