New York Jets – Early Free Agency Movement

A round-up and commentary on the New York Jets early movement in free agency

The New York Jets have started their off-season with a handful of small transactions and rumors swirling about their potential interest in certain players. There hasn’t been any shockers yet but they did lock in quarterback David Garrard to a contract today with the terms still undisclosed. This was an expected move and one that doesn’t need to be overreacted to on either end of the spectrum.

Garrard is not a savoir at quarterback. He hasn’t played since 2010 and is 35 years old. He was a cheap option to provide competition for Mark Sanchez if he can stay healthy. On the other end, this isn’t a laughable, poor move like some Twitter comedians make it out to be. Considering the Jets financial situation, this was an affordable way to potentially find a stopgap quarterback. If he is healthy and even 85-90% of the quarterback he was from 2007-2010, Garrard will be a capable starter if Sanchez continues to bomb out.

Look for the Jets to release Tim Tebow sooner rather than later and then add another veteran, likely Brady Quinn or Kevin Kolb if he is released. The team will then look to select a quarterback potentially in the mid-rounds to also bring into camp. The weaker of the two veterans will get released or traded some time in the Summer with the stronger veteran probably beginning the year behind Sanchez on the depth chart and the rookie as the 3rd quarterback.

Outside of quarterback, the Jets put a second round tender on Austin Howard another expected and smart move. Howard is a good fit in Marty Mornhingweg’s offense and is a capable, developing starter who comes at a reasonable price tag. They also brought back inside linebacker Josh Mauga on a 1 year deal, who will provide depth behind David Harris and Demario Davis.

The Jets have had rumored early interest in Cowboys outside linebacker Victor Butler. This would be a strong signing for the team and one we have discussed here before multiple times. Butler has upside and experience in the 3-4 defense and could fill a starting position in the Jets defense at an affordable rate as long as New Orleans and other teams don’t pursue him too hard. The team has also engaged in talks with cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie which could just be posturing for the Darrelle Revis negotiations or could be genuine interest in the event that Revis or Antonio Cromartie (his cousin) are traded. Rodgers-Cromartie plays a similar style to Antonio (just not at the same level) and could be an upgrade over having to start Kyle Wilson.

Finally, look for the Jets to make a strong push to bring Mike DeVito back in the next 2-4 days. If they pull it off, it will likely coincide with a release of Sione Pouha. The Jets aren’t paying both of them and it makes more sense to give the money to DeVito, not Pouha who is north of 30 and has back problems.

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the EVP of Content at Whistle Sports