Welcome back to another edition of the Turn On The Jets 12 Pack. Make sure to subscribe to the TOJ podcast (hit us with a rating!)…
For today’s 12 pack, we are going to break down what an ambitious, outside the box offseason would look like for the New York Jets. A few caveats before we get into this exercise. This is not a prediction for what is going to happen. This is not a traditional Jets approach to the offseason or even a traditional approach for most teams. The basis for this offseason model is the Jets deciding to radically shake things up because they have been mired in a 9 year playoff drought and are going to need to overcome the burden of a bottom three offensive coaching staff next year. It is also built to operate with extreme urgency as the clock is ticking on Sam Darnold’s contract, with all that being said…
1 – The Most Unpopular Trade: Jamal Adams is the best safety in the NFL and a terrific all around football player. He is likely to receive somewhere around 70 million dollars for his inevitable long term contract from the Jets or another NFL team. The Jets are in no position to pay him that money this offseason with how much other work they need to do, and don’t technically need to because he isn’t in a contract year. Adams is the Jets only valuable trade asset. Nobody is trading for CJ Mosley’s contract. Nobody is trading much for Le’Veon Bell’s contract, even if the Jets pay most of his salary still. The thesis on this move is offense is more important than defense and ensuring you have an at least above average quarterback is more important than having a great safety. You can help ensure you have an above average quarterback long term by saturating resources around Sam Darnold the next 2-3 years of his rookie deal.
Let’s assume the Jets can get Dallas back to the table and are able to get their 1st and 3rd round pick this year (17th and 82nd overall) and some type of conditional mid round pick in 2021. This would leave the team with two first round picks, one second round pick and three third round picks.2 – Opening Bell Brinks Truck: After the Jets slash the obvious dead weight off their roster: Trumaine Johnson, Brian Winters, Daryl Roberts and Josh Bellamy along with potentially Avery Williamson (a good player but at a deep, low value position for the jets), they are going to have a reasonable amount of salary cap flexibility. Their singular focus with this money should be to give the above and beyond type deal they gave to CJ Mosley to right tackle Jack Conklin and left guard Joe Thuney, which means not being shy about going above 15M per year for Conklin and 10M per year for Thuney. If they can’t land the top of market targets, they should quickly be ready to pivot and overpay (hell, everyone is overpaid in free agency) for targets like Andrus Peat and DJ Humphries. Go get a tackle and a guard.
3 – Round One Offensive Line Building: With six picks in the first three rounds, the Jets will have the draft capital to make sure they get one of the top offensive tackles in the NFL Draft. Don’t sit on your hands. Make the necessary move to get Andrew Thomas and make him your left tackle. If Thomas becomes unreachable for whatever reason than go get Tristan Wirfs to pair with Conklin or whoever you add in free agency at tackle.
4 – Yes, More Offensive Line Building: With the remaining day two capital the Jets have (let’s assume they are parting with their second rounder to move up to ensure they get their tackle in round one), the Jets should target a center like Cesar Ruiz or Nick Harris to develop and/or compete with Jonotthan Harrison for the starting center job. The Jets should also bring Alex Lewis back as their other starting guard while keeping Chuma Edoga and Tom Compton around for depth.
5 – Target Building: The Jets can use their second first round pick (17th overall) to add a weapon for Sam Darnold on the outside. It could be Henry Ruggs. It could be Tee Higgins. it could be Justin Jefferson. We’ll see how the board breaks but get your franchise quarterback a target to growth with on the outside because Robby Anderson is probably as good as gone in free agency.6 – Wide Receiver Depth: Assuming Anderson is gone, the Jets need another player to supplement their rookie and Jamison Crowder. Breshad Perriman is worth a shot after his production down the stretch in Tampa last year. If they can’t land Perriman, who could be a hot commodity in a thin receiver free agent class, the Jets could roll the dice on Devin Funchess coming off a lost season to injury. Demaryius Thomas, Vyncint Smith and Braxton Berrios are all likely to be back as well.
7 – Secondary Patch Up: The Jets should get slot corner Brian Poole under contract before free agency hits and look to add a veteran to compete with Blessaun Austin and Arthur Maulet on the outside. Darqueze Dennard and Bradley Roby could be pragmatic options, along with making cornerback a potential focus position for any remaining day two picks or early day three picks. The Jets will need a band aid at safety until they “replace” Adams long term and that target could either be Justin Simmons or Tre Boston, among a few others. There isn’t a good answer but you are heavily redirecting your resources to offense in this model of an offseason and counting on #Gregg to figure it out.
8 – Front Seven Re-Up and Hope: With their focus on the offensive line and receiver depth, the Jets are going to miss out on a less than robust edge market. They should bring Jordan Jenkins back and hope Tarell Basham keeps progressing in Gregg’s scheme, while hoping that Quinnen Williams can make “the leap” in year two to help to create some type of consistent pass rush or that Henry Anderson finds his 2018 form again. They should also take a day three swing or two on developmental edge rushers.
9 – One More Bell: Keep Le’Veon Bell instead of paying him to play somewhere else, move him around the formation and let him run behind your rebuilt offensive line. I have accepted Bilal Powell will be on the Jets for all of eternity so let him and Josh Adams be your backups.
10 – Kicker? The Jets can either bring Sam Ficken back or dig into a likely uninspiring market of free agent options (maybe Dan Bailey?), just stay away from Vedvek please..
11 – Other Odds and Ends: Bring back Neville Hewitt and James Burgess to compete alongside CJ Mosley at inside linebacker, along with Arthur Maulet at cornerback. Bring back Brandon Coleman for outside linebacker depth. Trevor Siemian is probably coming back as the backup quarterback.
12 – A Version Of The Depth Chart (doesn’t include a few TBD day two/three rookies)
- QB: Sam Darnold
- OT: Jack Conklin, Andrew Thomas, Chuma Edoga
- OG: Alex Lewis, Andrus Peat, Tom Compton
- C: Jonotthan Harrison, Nick Harris
- WR: Henry Ruggs, Jamison Crowder, Breshad Perriman, Demaryius Thomas
- TE: Chris Herndon, Ryan Griffin, Trevon Wesco
- DL: Quinnen Williams, Henry Anderson, Nathan Shepherd, Foley Fatukasi, Steve McLendon, Kyle Phillips
- ILB: CJ Mosley, James Burgess, Neville Hewitt
- Edge: Jordan Jenkins, Tarell Basham, Brandon Copeland
- CB: Darqueze Dennard, Blessaun Austin, Brian Poole, Arthur Maulet
- S: Marcus Maye, Justin Simmons