In this week’s edition of the Turn On The Jets Pick Six, we are combining a couple of ideas that have been floating around as we rumble towards the beginning of the league year. The first being whether the Jets should trade Muhammad Wilkerson and the second is realistic options for the Jets in the draft. We will begin with the first, since that has an impact on how many players the Jets can walk out of the draft with. This is how I would tackle the offseason with these two things in mind. At the end, I will update my ideal 53 man roster with the signings I previously made.
1. The New York Jets franchise Muhammad Wilkerson. His cap number becomes $15.4M. This eliminates practically all of the New York Jets available cap space before negotiating restructures and releases.Jets fans need to understand that franchising Muhammed Wilkerson will limit what they can do in the offseason. If Wilkerson hits the market, there is virtually no chance that he is back in Green and White and the Jets just lost an asset for nothing. That’s why I think the Jets tag and trade him as soon as possible. This hinders their ability to go after targets initially, but I think Mike Maccagnan and the Jets front office have a framework in place.
2. The New York Jets trade Muhammad Wilkerson to the Jacksonville Jaguars for the 38th and 101st picks in the NFL Draft. This move nets the Jets two picks and gives them 5 of the first 127 picks.
Do I think the Jets can get a first round pick for Wilkerson? Sure. Do I think they will get a first for Wilkerson? No. Wilkerson is not the best player at his position like Darrelle Revis was when the Jets moved him. he is also not arguably the greatest to ever play his position like Revis is. That’s not a knock on Wilkerson, who is very good and incredibly talented. However, you cannot keep Leonard Williams off the field cause you didn’t use the 6th overall pick on a part time player. You also can return Sheldon Richardson to his more natural position and have a better chance of re-signing Damon Harrison. A defensive line of Williams, Richardson, and Harrison can lead the league in run defense.
Wilkerson is coming off a broken leg and is asking for north of JJ Watt money if all reports are accurate. Tag, then trade him. Use the assets to continue to build your team. Why the Jaguars? They have the required cap space to trade for Wilkerson and pay him the contract he wants, they have a need on their defensive line, and they have two picks high enough that allows the Jets to continue rebuilding their roster.3. Complete this ideal free agency spending spree with one notable new resigning
Ryan Fitzpatrick (2 years/$16M, 2016 cap number of $7M)
Calvin Pace (2 years/$2M, 2016 Cap Number of $1M)
Bilal Powell (2 years/$2.25M, 2016 Cap Number of $1.25M)
Jamari Lattimore (1 year/$900,000, 2016 Cap Number of $900,000)
Erin Henderson (2 years/$2.25M, 2016 Cap Number of $1M)
Damon Harrison (4 years, $14M, 2016 Cap Number of $5M)
4. Sign these free agents
RB Lamar Miller (3 years, $9M)
TE Zach Miller (2 years, $3M)
WR Jaron Brown (2 years, $2M)
OLB Larry English (1 year league minimum deal)
RT J’Marcus Webb (1 year league minimum deal)
FS Dwight Lowery (2 year, $1.5M deal)
DE/DT Da’Quan Bowers (3 years, $2.5M)
DT Barry Cofield (1 year league minimum deal)
LT Sam Young (2 year $1.5M deal)
6. Draft these players with their now 8 selections.
20th. Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
38th. Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech
Potential replacement for Sheldon Richardson, and an additional chess piece for Bowles comes in the form of this force up the middle. Butler may not be available at 38, but if he is he’d be a borderline steal. He is a top 50 player in this class for me, and would allow the Jets to increase their depth and add a pass rushing presence from the DT spot in their 4-3 looks
51st. Kamalai Correa, OLB, Boise State
Jets turn the first of the two picks they received for Wilkerson into the pass rusher they’ve been looking for, a violent edge setter that is only going to get better. Correa can stand to get a little bigger, but adding him to this Jets defense gives them a much needed speed infusion and a player that can take over for Calvin Pace once he’s sent back in time to save Sarah Connor.
83rd. Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA
The second best RB in the draft to me paired with free agent signing Lamar Miller and returning Bilal Powell gives the Jets offense speed and a dynamic RB trio. Perkins is shifty and a great fit for Gailey’s offense, and he is an excellent pass catcher and pass protector so he theoretically wouldn’t have to come off the field. That gives the Jets 3 running backs that can play all 3 downs, a luxury in the NFL.
101st. Pharaoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina
Insurance for the returning Devin Smith, plus another weapon for the passing game that could stand to get diversified from strictly using Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Cooper also contributes in the kick and punt return game and is electric with the ball in his hands.
119th. Eric Murray, CB, Minnesota
The better corner out of Minnesota’s highly touted duo, Murray provides Antonio Cromartie/Dee Milliner insurance and adds a guy that can develop into the Revis Replacement when #24 transitions to FS.
151st. Max Tuerk, C, USC
Nick Mangold cannot play forever, and Tuerk gives the Jets the heir apparent to Mangold. He can learn behind a future hall of famer, and then take over when Mangold retires. Tuerk, in this scenario, would give the Jets a chance to have 3 young OL (Decker, Tuerk, and Jarvis Harrison) who could be their starters on the OL once Mangold and Ferguson retire.
213th. Tom Hackett, P, Utah
The Quiggley Experiment ends this offseason. Hackett is the best punter in the draft, and would drastically improve the Jets special teams.
6. With this offseason, the Jets 53 man roster looks like this:
QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith, Bryce Petty
RB: Lamar Miller, Bilal Powell, Paul Perkins
FB: Tommy Bohanon
WR: Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Jaron Brown, Devin Smith, Pharoh Cooper
TE: Zach Miller, Quincy Enunwa, Jace Amaro
OT: D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Taylor Decker, Sam Young, J’Marcus Webb
OG: James Carpenter, Brian Winters, Jarvis Harrison
C: Nick Mangold, Max Tuerk
The Jets get faster and younger, and honestly become a much harder to defend. Adding Perkins protects you when it comes to Powell having a tendency to be banged up. Pharaoh Cooper gives the Jets a WR that could contribute right away on special teams and in their four WR packages, plus he can step in to replace Brandon Marshall or Eric Decker should they choose to move on from either after this season or the next. Tuerk and Taylor Decker are part of a bigger plan to continue to rebuild the Jets OL and allow them to be competitive for years to come.
DE: Sheldon Richardson, Leonard Williams, Mike Catapano
DT: Damon Harrison, Vernon Butler, Barry Cofield, Da’Quan Bowers
OLB: Kamalai Correa, Lorenzo Mauldin, Trevor Reilly, Larry English, Calvin Pace
ILB: David Harris, Erin Henderson, Jamari Lattimore, Taiwan Jones
CB: Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Buster Skrine, Marcus Williams, Dexter McDougle, Eric Murray
FS: Marcus Gilchrist, Dwight Lowery
SS: Calvin Pryor, Rontez Miles
Being able to keep Harrison and add Butler is a coup cause it allows the Jets to bring Butler along slowly, but still have him contribute. Harrison, Richardson, and Williams also gives the Jets one of the more reasonably priced defensive lines. Butler adds to that depth. Cofield and Bowers are veteran presences on what now becomes a very young defensive line. Correa and Murray are more depth and BPA additions that show the Jets have an eye to the future. Correa could become the full time OLB starter opposite last year’s 3rd round pick Lorenzo Mauldin, while Murray can end up replacing Antonio Cromartie in a year before transitioning to the Jets number one corner position.
K: Nick Folk
P: Tom Hackett
LS: Tanner Purdum
Cooper contributes on special teams, as does Perkins. The Jets add depth necessary to improve their special teams play, and they get a young punter that will be very good for a very long time.
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com