New York Jets Top Five – Second Tier FA Targets

Joe Belic with five second tier free agent targets for the New York Jets

We all have our favorite targets this offseason, but with 32 teams competing for top players, it’s fair to say many coveted candidates will be donning other uniforms.  Gang Green must dig deep to fill multiple holes, and in this week’s Joe Jet 5, I list some second-tier free agents Joe Douglas could single out.  

Trae Waynes (CB):

Gregg Williams did an admirable job last season, and the Jets finished 18th in pass defense, despite fielding backup caliber players. Still, 18th isn’t going to cut it, and an upgrade to the DB unit is a must, especially on the outside. Waynes has never lived up to his potential (as a first-round pick), and although it’s a weak cornerback market, I doubt he gets the number he desires. If Waynes is willing to bet on himself and take a one-year deal, I hope Douglas extends an offer. 

Breshad Perriman (WR): 

Joe Douglas was a scout with Baltimore when Perriman was drafted in the first round (2015), and I have to imagine, if anybody understands what he can bring to the table, it’s Joe. 

  • Spiderwebs for hands (rarely, if ever, drops a ball)
  • Legitimate big-play threat on every snap (tied 6th in the NFL on targets over 20 yards)
  • Otherworldly speed to take the top off a defense (4.27 40-yard dash)
  • Versatile (can play X, Z, and slot): 482 snaps wide and 156 in the slot (2019)

Perriman isn’t a substitute for Robby Anderson—I’d love to see them on the field together—yet, if they lose Anderson this offseason, Perriman could seemingly fill a similar role.  Despite playing 288 fewer snaps, Perriman was tied with Anderson on targets (28 total) over 20 yards and hauled in eleven receptions compared to Robby’s nine. The former first-round pick is worth a gander, and I’d bring him in on another one-year prove-it deal.  

Halapoulivaati Vaitai (OT):

Rumors have been swirling that the Jets are content with Chuma Edoga as the starting right tackle.  While there may be some truth to this talk, I don’t think it’s going to stop them from targeting Jack Conklin in free agency. Regardless, reeling in a big fish like Conklin won’t be an easy feat, and bringing in a player to challenge Edoga, if they strikeout this offseason, is a smart approach. 

Here’s how Vaitai compared to Edoga and Shell in 2019, according to PFF:

  • Vaitai: 541 snaps, 4 penalties, 2 sacks allowed, 64.6 pass blocking (PBLK) and 76.2 run blocking (RBLK) grade 
  • Brandon Shell: 806 snaps, 5 penalties, 7 sacks allowed, 64.7 PBLK and 59.1 RBLK grade 
  • Chuma Edoga: 421 snaps, 6 penalties, 6 sacks allowed, 53.8 PBLK and 54.8 RBLK grade

Matt Judon (Edge):

I don’t consider Judon second tier, but in contrast to what Yannick Ngakoue will fetch in free agency, he’s not quite at the top of the food chain. 

The arrow is pointing up for this dynamic pass rusher, who will most likely be franchise tagged, but the Jets would be wise to make an offer if he becomes available.  

Judon burst on the scene this past year with Za’Darius Smith (Packers) and Terrell Suggs playing elsewhere.  He led the league in QB hits (25) and notched 9.5 sacks for the season. With his ability to drop into coverage (109 snaps), Judon’s versatility remains one of his best attributes, and he possesses all the makings of an every-down player.  

Judon would flourish in Gregg Williams’ hybrid “3-4 attacking” defense and satisfy a much-needed void. Although the Jets were ranked 10th in defensive DVOA, the team lacked results from the edge, producing only 35 sacks, and ranked 26th in adjusted sack rate (6.2%). While Ngakoue ranks at the top of most lists, Judon would be a nice consolation prize (and approximately 3-5 million per year cheaper). 

Judon never recorded double-digit sacks, but all signs suggest he’ll make a similar leap to his former teammate (Za’Darius Smith) this upcoming season.

Za’Darius Smith

Matt Judon

Graham Glasgow (IOL):

Glasgow’s ability to interchange between IOL spots makes him extremely attractive.  He’s spent time at RG, LG, and center throughout his career. Center, in particular, with all the responsibilities, is quickly becoming the most significant position on the offensive line and, although I expect the Jets to fill the spot in the draft, it wouldn’t shock me if they started the rookie out at guard.  In 2018, Glasgow spent the entire season at the anchor to help recently drafted Frank Ragnow acclimate to the NFL. Ragnow took over starting duties (at center) his sophomore year, and Glasgow moved over to guard in 2019, where he finished the year ranked twelfth at the position (according to PFF). 

I can see the Jets taking a similar approach this season, especially if they pick a player like Lloyd Cushenberry (C), who wasn’t the “lead communicator” on his offensive line in college (LSU). Glasgow would be invaluable to this offensive line, and signing him could allow the Jets to clear another 2.25m in cap space by releasing Jonotthan Harrison if need be.

Glasgow’s grades, according to PFF:

  • 2019: 872 snaps, 74.1 overall grade, 69.0 PBLK, and 74.2 RBLK
  • 2018: 1,076 snaps, 70.1 overall, 73.8 PBLK, and 69.1 RBLK
  • 2017: 1,042 snaps, 71.1 overall, 71.8 PBLK, and 67.0 RBLK
  • 2016 (rookie year): 758 snaps, 53.7 overall, 63.1 PBLK, and 54.5 RBLK