New York Jets – Cornerback Spending In Free Agency?

Michael Meegan with a closer look at the New York Jets free agent options at cornerback

Byron Jones and James Bradberry are the two top names on the CB market in free agency.  Jones is likely going to command the largest contract ever handed out to a CB around the 16 million per year and Bradberry is reportedly seeking something similar around the 15 million per year mark.

The Jets have a major hole to fill at CB and I will look today to see if breaking the bank for either of these two guys is worth as Joe Douglas looks to fill the many holes on this roster. 

Byron Jones – Byron Jones was one of the most impressive athletes in the history of the NFL Combine when the Cowboys selected him back in 2015.  Jones played safety his first 3 years but switched too corner in 2018 and has been an elite player at that position. Jones often does not get the shine of other elite corners such as Stephon Gilmore and Jalen Ramsey as he does not have the flashy ball skills.  Jones only has 2 interceptions in his entire career and both came when he played safety. Joe Douglas will love the versatility Jones has. He is also a very high IQ player who is very good in coverage and can tackle which will really appeal to Gregg Williams and pairing him with budding Superstar Jamal Adams the Jets secondary would become elite with the signing of Jones.  

James Bradberry –  When Josh Norman left in Free Agency in 2016 Bradberry was drafted to help offset that. Bradberry is a player who was asked to play a lot of man coverage in Carolina and his playstyle would fit the kind Gregg Williams asks of his corners.  Playing in the NFC South Bradberry had to deal with playing Julio Jones, Michael Thomas, and the two headed monster of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin twice each a season.  Being on an island with any of those guys you’re going to take losses and Bradberry is a better player than his coverage numbers suggest. Bradberry started the year off great in 2019 and his play dipped as Carolina faltered down the stretch with the firing of their head coach.  Bradberry’s highs are really good and when you see that you see why he is asking for the money he is. He however still needs to work on making that play more consistent and doing it over a 16 game period instead of an 8 game one.  

I would not advise the Jets to pay either of these guys.  The Jets defense is not one corner away from being a complete unit. They still have a massive hole to fill at edge rusher. With a weak edge class coming up in the draft outside of Chase Young, the Jets should pay for that in free agency. Going after a mid-tier Corner in free agency like Jalen Mills and pairing him with a rookie they on Day two of the draft would be the option I would pursue if I was Joe Douglas.  If they can parlay that with adding a guy like Dante Fowler and resigning Jordan Jenkins and Brian Poole the Jets defense will be well equipped to combat a much tougher schedule in 2020.