New York Jets – Defensive Free Agent Targets

Michael Meegan looks at prospective defensive free agent targets for the New York Jets

An overview of defensive free agent targets for the New York Jets this offseason…

Yannick Ngakoue – Age 24, Edge rusher

The most prized free agent on the market. Ngakoue who has not even turned 25 yet and is a budding superstar. In his four seasons in Jacksonville Ngagkoue has had 8 or more sacks every year and forced 14 fumbles. He is just entering his prime. 

Dante Fowler Jr – Age 25, Edge rusher

Fowler has been invigorated playing with Aaron Donald, as he finished with 11.5 sacks in his first full season with the Rams. The Jets invested a top three pick in Quinnen Williams with the expectations that he would become one of the most dominant interior defenders in the league. If the Jets add Fowler they will fill a much needed hole at edge and give Quinnen the running mate needed for him to reach his potential. 

Bud Dupree – Age 26, Edge Rusher

Dupree finally put it all together in his fifth season in Pittsburgh putting up his first double digit sack season with four forced fumbles to go along with it.  He blossomed playing with DPOY candidate TJ Watt as they helped lead Pittsburgh to become one of the best defenses in the NFL.  The one season of production is worrying and it remains to be seen if he can produce away from Watt. However, the same could have been said for Za’Darius Smith last year and he has been a home run for the Packers. 

Shaq Barrett – Age 27, Edge Rusher

The signing of 2019 free agency. The Buccaneers signed Barrett to a 1-year deal worth 5 million.  He responded by leading the NFL in sacks with 19.5 and added 6 forced fumbles to go with it.  This was an absurd season that no one saw coming and will lead to a monster contract for Barrett. He was never able to register a season with six or more sacks before this one and will likely get a contract that is over 15 million per season…

Matthew Judon – Age 28, Edge Rusher

The Ravens have been a factory for producing quality edge rushers and Judon is the latest one to blossom. He made his first Pro Bowl this season and made sure the Ravens did not have a drop off in losing Za’Darius Smith last year as he posted 9.5 sacks this year. Judon is an older player and might prove to be cheaper and a good fall back option if the Jets are unable to land one of the other edge rushers listed.

Byron Jones – Age 27, Cornerback

The likely odd man out in Dallas as the Cowboys have to pay him, Amari Cooper and Dak Prescott. He will be the top corner on the market and be rewarded handsomely for it.  Jones has been durable in his career only missing one game in 5 seasons. With the upcoming draft being rich in corners the Jets would be wise to not break the bank for Jones. 

James Bradberry – Age 26, Cornerback

One of the most underrated corners in the league. Bradberry has quietly got better each year and flown under the radar. He is a corner who thrives in man coverage that would stylistically fit what Gregg Williams wants do. Bradberry would be a good fit for Gregg’s system and help the Jets replace Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts who are both likely to be cut.  

Trae Waynes – Age 27, Cornerback

A name many Jets fans are familiar as they were involved in trade rumors with Waynes the past 2 seasons. He has struggled with consistency in Minnesota and his coverage stats have regressed since his rookie year. We saw Gregg get quality CB play from rookie Bless Austin and journeymen Arthur Maulet.  Waynes has a lot of talent and a one year prove it deal could be beneficial for both sides.