New York Jets – Which Internal Free Agents Should Come Back?

James Kuntz reviews the New York Jets internal free agents and who should be brought back for 2020

Given the fact that the Jets have several dozen players with contracts set to expire in a month, it is worth examining which ones the Jets should re-sign or let go.

Robby Anderson, Wide Receiver
Should the Jets Re-Sign him? Yes, and I’d be willing to pay as high as $15 million per year if the contract includes heavy incentives and a quick “out” for the Jets.
Why? Anderson took strides last year to improve his intermediate route-running and the strength of his hands. Seeing as he already has a rapport with Darnold, and the Jets receiving corps would be significantly less dynamic without him, Anderson should be a priority re-sign.

Kelvin Beachum, Tackle
Should the Jets Re-Sign him? Yes.
Why? Beachum is a known commodity who can provide consistent play at Tackle, as well as mentor younger players. Re-signing him provides the Jets with flexibility not only in the Draft, but afterwards, in the event that whomever they Draft isn’t ready to start immediately.

B.J. Bello, Linebacker
Should the Jets Re-Sign him? No.
Why? I’m not actively opposed to the Jets re-signing him, but the fact the Jets found Bello on the waiver wire halfway through the season is evidence of the fact you can find competent special teams contributors at any time. Bello shouldn’t be a priority entering this offseason.

James Burgess, Linebacker
Should the Jets Re-Sign him? Yes.
Why? Burgess significantly exceeded expectations of any 5th string middle linebacker, and there’s no reason why the Jets shouldn’t want to sign him. The real question is whether he wants to return as a 4th or 5th string guy for the Jets, when he likely could be a 3rd string player on another team.

Maurice Canady, Cornerback
Should the Jets Re-sign him? Yes.
Why? If the Jets can find a better depth piece than Canady through the waiver wire or free agency, they should seize the opportunity; however, as of right now, Canady is one of the few cornerbacks on the roster who actually deserve to be in the NFL. The Jets shouldn’t hastily replace him before they have an alternative.

Tom Compton, Guard
Should the Jets Re-Sign him? Yes.
Why? I don’t have strong feelings about re-signing Compton, although I lean more towards bringing him back than not. Compton was serviceable when he saw action in 2019 and I believe he is a solid backup in the NFL.

Brandon Copeland, Linebacker
Should the Jets Re-Sign Him? No.
Why? I lean towards letting Copeland go because the Jets have plenty of depth at Linebacker; however, if plans to re-sign Hewitt and Burgess fall through, Copeland should become a higher priority re-sign.

Lac Edwards, Punter
Should the Jets Re-Sign Him? Yes.
Why? There’s no reason to create another hole in the team’s roster. Laclan Edwards has proved that he is a competent starting punter in the NFL, and the Jets should reward him with a second contract.

David Fales, Quarterback
Should the Jets Re-Sign him? No.
Why? The Jets can find a far better backup quarterback among veterans, UDFAs, and XFL starters, the majority of whom would be better than Fales.

Sam Ficken, Kicker
Should the Jets Re-Sign him? Yes, but he should not be the only Kicker they sign.
Why? Ficken was inconsistent last year and the Jets should be searching for a better alternative, but the team should not move away from Ficken before they find one.

Neville Hewitt, Linebacker
Should the Jets Re-sign him? Yes.
Why? Neville Hewitt is a really solid backup and core special teamer for the Jets who proved that he can anchor the Jets linebacker core in the event of injury. I truly believe that there are teams in the NFL where Neville Hewitt could be a starting linebacker–that’s how talented I think he is. The Jets should make every effort to re-sign him.

Bennett Jackson, Safety
Should the Jets Re-Sign him? No.
Why? Same reasoning for not re-signing BJ Bello.

Jordan Jenkins, EDGE
Should the Jets Re-Sign him? Yes, but not for more than $10 million per year.
Why? Jenkins will likely be a beneficiary of the tendency to overpay free agents on the open market, but the Jets must realize that he is a replaceable player.

Ryan Kalil, Center
Should the Jets Re-Sign Him? No.
Why? The Kalil experiment was a resounding failure last year, and he became the second Jets center to make Jonotthan Harrison seem like an upgrade. This should be the easiest decision of any on this list.

Leo Koloamatangi, Center
Should the Jets Re-Sign Him? No.
Why? I don’t have strong feelings about keeping or cutting Koloamatangi since he didn’t play a single regular season snap all year, but if the Jets front office can find an upgrade in Free Agency, the Draft, or waiver wire, they should not hesitate.

Alex Lewis,  Guard
Should the Jets Re-Sign Him? Yes.
Why? Lewis was one of the few competent players on the Jets Offensive Line last year. Moving away from Lewis without a better alternative at both Guard positions would be a significant mistake.

Frankie Luvu, EDGE
Should the Jets Re-Sign him? Yes.
Why? Luvu played significantly fewer snaps in his second year than he did in his first, but Luvu plays with the hustle and energy that a team wants from its backups and core special teamers.

Josh Malone, Wide Receiver
Should the Jets Re-Sign him? No.
Why? I don’t have particularly strong feelings about re-signing Malone; however, if the Jets can find a better WR on the waiver wire or among Undrafted Free Agents, they should not hesistate.

Arthur Maulet, Cornerback
Should the Jets Re-Sign him? Yes.
Why? Although he was far from perfect in coverage, Maulet was a serviceable starter in Williams’ scheme and a willing tackler in the run and screen game. Maulet should provide solid depth for the 2020 Jets.

Albert McClellan, Linebacker
Should the Jets Re-Sign him? No.
Why? McClellan is on the wrong side of 30 and the Jets have significant depth at Linebacker. The Jets should be looking for younger special teamers who are Undrafted Free Agents or waiver wire pickups, not at the end of their careers.

Rontez Miles, Safety
Should the Jets Re-Sign him? Yes.
Why? By all accounts, Rontez Miles is one of the foremost leaders in the Jets locke room and the team’s special teams captain. Miles hasn’t played significant snaps on defense, but has been serviceable when relied upon. Unless they find a better alternative, the Jets should keep Miles.

Ty Montgomery, Running Back
Should the Jets Re-Sign him? No.
Why? Although he was heralded as a crucial piece of the Gase offense in the 2019 preseason, these prognostications never materialized as Montgomery was barely used during the regular season. The Jets can stick with Bilal Powell, Kenneth Dixon, and Trenton Cannon at running back and be fine in terms of depth.

Brian Poole, Cornerback
Should the Jets Re-Sign him? Yes.
Why? Poole significantly exceeded expectations in his first year with the Jets and was the bright spot in a depleted Jets cornerback group. The Jets should do everything possible to retain Poole on a long-term deal in order to create a sense of consistency in their secondary.

Bilal Powell, Running Back
Should the Jets Re-Sign him? Yes.
Why? Powell has been a consistent player for his entire career, and the Jets should use Powell until the wheels fall off. Powell is a cheap veteran who will provide useful depth behind Le’Veon Bell.

Brent Qvale,  Tackle
Should the Jets Re-Sign him? No.
Why? In less than a year as General Manager, Joe Douglas has proven that his front office is adept at finding quality depth at all positions. Qvale is a holdover from the Maccagnan regime and Douglas shouldn’t have to look hard in order to find a more competent backup Tackle.

Brandon Shell,  Tackle
Should the Jets Re-Sign him? No.
Why? If the Jets could retain Shell for a veteran’s minimum contract, I’d say go for it, but Shell will likely command a prove-it deal for $4 or $5 million on the open market. This is far too much to pay a mediocre backup.

Trevor Siemian, Quarterback
Should the Jets Re-Sign him? Yes.
Why? Although his season was cut short in Week 2 due to injury, Siemian looked like a serviceable backup quarterback. Re-signing Siemian would provide some continuity in the quarterback room and a veteran to help Sam Darnold master the Gase offense.

Jeff Smith, Wide Receiver
Should the Jets Re-Sign him? No.
Why? Like many of the practice squad players on this list, Smith is a player who I’m largely apathetic about re-signing. Smith should be one of the lowest priority players to re-sign this offseason.

Demaryius Thomas, Wide Receiver
Should the Jets Re-Sign him? Yes.
Why? Demaryius Thomas isn’t the player that he once was, but he’s a competent NFL receiver. The Jets should not decrease the amount of talent around Darnold and Thomas is a strong veteran presence who is already familiar with Gase’s system.

Paul Worrilow, Linebacker
Should the Jets Re-Sign him? No.
Why? My reasoning for not re-signing Worrilow is the same for not re-signing BJ Bello.