The New York Jets have done a few things over the past week and are likely not done tinkering with their roster before the NFL Draft. For this week’s Turn On The Jets 12 Pack, we are going to rank their off-season moves so far. Our initial reaction to all these moves will be linked with the transaction for reference as well. Also don’t miss this week’s Podcast and breakdown of Marcus Mariota.
On to the 12 Pack…
1. Signing Darrelle Revis – A much needed win on and off the field for the New York Jets. Despite there always needing to be antagonism between the two franchises’ media and fans, signing Revis made sense for the Jets while simultaneously making sense for New England to let him walk.
You operate your franchise differently when you don’t have anything proven at quarterback or Head Coach and you are coming off four listless non-playoff seasons. Revis immediately becomes the Jets “franchise” player, while more importantly filling a gaping hole on their defense. The money was about what everybody expected and if Revis is himself or near himself the next 2-3 years and is a catalyst to making the Jets competitive again, this is a home run. There is no 5 year turnarounds in the NFL. Things can change quick. You get yourself a competitive roster and hope you get yourself in the tournament, where anything can happen (see, recent Giants Super Bowl runs). Revis coming back to New York gave a needed shot in the arm to the franchise and has allowed the pieces to fall in place around him to build one of the NFL’s strongest secondaries overnight.
2. Trading For Brandon Marshall – The Jets acquired Marshall for pennies and he has no guaranteed money beyond this year. He is the most talented receiver they have had on their roster since Keyshawn Johnson in his prime. This is a team who has not had a 1,000 yard receiver since 2007. 2007! Marshall has put together SEVEN 1,000 yard seasons in his career, including in seasons when Chad Henne, Kyle Orton and Josh McCown were his primary quarterback. Marshall will join with Eric Decker to give the Jets one of the better starting wide receiver duos in the league and terrific size on the outside. His presence will open things up in the middle of the field for Jace Amaro and Jeremy Kerley while making it harder for teams to pack the box against the Jets offense.
3. Signing Buster Skrine – Yes, we are putting Buster third. The slot corner is a full time player in Todd Bowles defense and the Jets were not going to get by with somebody like Kyle Wilson holding down that role. Skrine is an ascending player who has a style of play that should fit well with what the Jets are trying to do on defense.4. Trading For Ryan Fitzpatrick – Of all the potentially available veteran quarterbacks, Fitzpatrick made the most sense for the Jets. They were able to acquire him for a conditional 7th round pick and a low cost contract that will pay him less than Brian Hoyer or Josh McCown, which is nice considering he is better than both of them. He is familiar with Chan Gailey’s offense and has been productive in it previously. Unless the Jets draft Marcus Mariota, it should be a wide open competition between Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith. Considering the barren veteran market, the Jets did well for themselves here.
5. Signing Marcus Gilchrist – Calvin Pryor’s new running mate at safety. Gilchrist is an interesting player, considering his athleticism and versatility. He is not somebody who played all that well last year in San Diego after an encouraging 2013. The Jets had him targeted from the outset of free agency so clearly Todd Bowles sees something in his skill-set. Will he be better served in the Jets system than he was in San Diego? It isn’t surprising the Jets didn’t feel comfortable relying too much on Antonio Allen or Jaiquawn Jarrett (tendered by the Jets) after what we saw from them last season.
6. Signing Antonio Cromartie – The nostalgia tour continues. We know Cromartie can excel in a complimentary role and is coming off an encouraging season in Arizona. There is valid concern about his hip issue flaring up and his struggles in 2013 here and down the stretch last season. However, the initial money on his contract may be misleading. Let’s see how it breaks down after two years and if the Jets have an easy out. If they can get two productive starting seasons from him, this signing will be a win for the Jets.
7. Bringing Back David Harris – Harris was flat out overpaid. Yet, the Jets prevented Rex Ryan from getting a new quarterback to his defense in Buffalo and they didn’t create another hole to fill on their own defense. Harris is probably best served to be a two down linebacker at this point of his career due to his struggles in pass coverage but he is still strong in the run game, blitzing the quarterback and sniffing out screens. The Jets have struggled “taking care of their own” in recent years and signing Harris is a move away from that trend.8. Signing James Carpenter – The Jets began to address their offensive line issues by bringing over Carpenter from Seattle. He is likely to be their starting left guard this season. Carpenter was inconsistent in Seattle, struggling at times to stay in shape. He has not been good in the running game but has been stable in pass protection. Ultimately, Carpenter probably projects out to being an average starter on an offensive line that has too many average/borderline below average starters as of today.
9. Bringing Back Bilal Powell – A low cost,one year deal. Powell provides nice depth behind Chris Ivory and is rock solid in pass protection. The Jets likely will add a running back in the NFL Draft, as both Powell and Ivory are free agents after this season. Powell is a jack of all trades and master of none but is a nice piece to have on the roster.
10. Bringing Back Willie Colon – A one year, veteran minimum deal that could be an indictment of what the new regime thinks of Brian Winters, Oday Aboushi and Dakota Dozier. If the Jets are starting Colon this season, they have issues at offensive guard. He is a leader in the locker room but is best served to be a backup/spot starter at this point of his career.
11. Bringing Back Tanner Purdum – A little love for the long snapper, no?
12. What’s Left? I don’t think anybody will be giving the Jets a second round pick for Damon Harrison so he should be back next year. The Jets still need to figure out long term deals for him and Muhammad Wilkerson, along with deciding if they want to bring Kenrick Ellis and/or Leger Douzable back. They could also have interest in adding Randy Starks to their defensive line rotation. Offensively, they are considering either Cecil Shorts or Stevie Johnson at wide receiver and may still look to enhance offensive line or tight end. They need a Y tight end who can block and to not be content with just adding Carpenter to the mix on the offensive line.