New York Jets: Last Second Free Agency Considerations

TOJ with some last second considerations for the New York Jets on the first day of free agency

The NFL free agency floodgates open at 4 PM today. Here are a few last minute thoughts related to the New York Jets before anything can become official later this afternoon –

1. Jamaal Westerman, Matthew Mulligan, and Marquice Cole weren’t tendered, leaving them unrestricted free agents. Mulligan is a goner, which is a good thing unless you are in favor of penalty yardage. Rex Ryan is a big Cole fan and he is a very good special teams player, so I would expect the Jets to make a strong push to resign him. Westerman could probably go either way, I am sure Greg Schiano will want to bring his former college player in for a visit to Tampa Bay. How hard the Jets work to bring him back, will likely depend on their luck bringing in other linebackers in free agency.

2. Bryan Thomas gave an interview yesterday to Jenny Vrentas of The Star Ledger about his desire to return to the team. It makes sense for the Jets to monitor his progress rehabbing from his injury last year and then consider bringing back on a veteran’s minimum deal. Thomas is a good fit in Rex Ryan’s defense and is stout against the run. If Thomas comes back healthy, they could sign Jarret Johnson and spend a first round pick on a player like Courtney Upshaw, Melvin Ingram or Andre Branch, it gives them leverage to move Calvin Pace in a trade.

3. If the Jets are looking improve wide receiver through free agency, they’d be wise to make a strong push to sign former San Francisco 49ers receiver Josh Morgan, who likely won’t be brought back now that the team has signed Randy Moss. Morgan will likely come much cheaper than Laurent Robinson or Robert Meachem, but could have way more upside.

4. I still remain hopeful the Jets will seek out Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson, particularly if they can’t sign Jameel McClain. It is hard to feel comfortable cutting Bart Scott until you sign a viable replacement. It certainly didin’t look like Josh Mauga was ready to be a full time starter last year.

5. It will be interesting to see who the Jets get after first later today. I can’t see any fathomable reason for them not to redirect any previous plans and shift their primary focus to Eric Winston but you easily them focusing on players with a history with their coaching staff out of the gate like Chad Henne, Ronnie Brown, Vernon Carey, Jarret Johnson, and Jameel McClain.

New York Jets: Free Agent Market Opening Up

The free agent market is opening up for the New York Jets, particularly at offensive tackle

Monday was an active day for NFL teams releasing players to improve their salary cap situation, more than a few should catch the eyes of the New York Jets.

Most notably, the Houston Texans surprisingly released Erin Winston. He has been one of the most consistent right tackles in the league the past few years. In case you haven’t noticed, the Jets badly need a right tackle because of that whole Wayne Hunter thing. If there is one player for the Jets to take a big money run at, it is Winston.

Beyond that, Levi Brown was also released by the Arizona Cardinals. Brown is the former number five overall pick in the draft, who has been good not great so far in his NFL career. Regardless, he would be a major upgrade over Hunter and is a player the Jets should strongly pursue if they are outbid for Winston.

A couple of other low cost options at the tackle position, as documented by Pro Football Focus are Anthony Collins and Geoff Schwartz. When you look at the free agent situation at tackle, there is no excuse for the Jets not to upgrade over Hunter, particularly with the amount of cap space they have.

On the defensive side of the football, the Raiders are expected to release Kamerion Wimbley who is a solid pass rushing option at outside linebacker. They will still look at Jarret Johnson but the Ravens will fight hard to keep him and the Colts will be after him as well.  The Redskins released OJ Atogwe, which brings another name to the safety market. The Jets are expected to pursue LaRon Landry but would be foolish to offer him any type of long term deal that doesn’t protect them from his injury history.

At wide receiver, the Jets should still be giving Laurent Robinson a long look along with Robert Meachem who remain on the market. Former Dolphins Chad Henne and Ronnie Brown will also probably be brought in for a visit to improve depth at quarterback and running back respectively.

Overall, there is more than enough of an opportunity for the Jets to improve their roster with the crop of players available.