The New York Jets have at all times been intent on profitable the again web page, which regularly contains lavish (and later regrettable) spending. While the Jets nonetheless spent a bit this offseason, the group’s new-ish regime (led by fourth-year GM Joe Douglas and second-year head coach Robert Saleh) appears to be working underneath a extra disciplined, targeted strategy, with a specific emphasis on constructing from inside. To that, the Jets did an admirable job filling a handful of holes by way of the draft, particularly by way of three first-round picks and one early second-round choose.
The Jets deserve props for including each foundational and short-term items that addressed some clear wants. While they don’t have a lot room to fall following a four-win marketing campaign in 2021, it stays to be seen if these offseason strikes can be sufficient to get the Jets to a decent report…and (maybe) their first playoff look for the reason that 2010 season.
- Laken Tomlinson, OL. Three years, $40M. $27M assured.
- Duane Brown, OT. Two years, $22M.
- C.J. Uzomah, TE. Three years, $24M.
- Tyler Conklin, TE. Three years, $21M.
- D.J. Reed, CB. Three years, $33M. $21M assured.
- Jordan Whitehead, S. Two years, $14.5M.
- Marcell Harris, LB/S. One year, $1.2M.
- Kwon Alexander, LB. One year, $1.2M.
- Jacob Martin, LB. Three years, $13.5M. $6M assured.
- Solomon Thomas, DE. One year, $2.25M.
- Greg Zuerlein, Okay. One year, $2.75M.
The Jets offensive line really confirmed loads of enchancment through the 2021 season, however aside from former first-round choose Alijah Vera-Tucker, questions stay. George Fant and Connor McGovern are each getting up there in age and have a solely 12 months remaining on their contracts. Morgan Moses left in free company, whereas the embattled Mekhi Becton first misplaced out on the LT competitors earlier than being dominated out for the season.
To assist shore up the unit in each the short- and long-term, the Jets introduced in Laken Tomlinson. A former first-round choose by the Lions, Tomlinson discovered a house in San Francisco between the 2017 and 2021 seasons, together with a 2021 marketing campaign the place he earned his first profession Pro Bowl choice. He ended up rating thirteenth amongst 82 eligible guard candidates by way of Pro Football Focus, and primarily based on his observe report, there’s no purpose to suppose he’ll fall out of the top-15 guards in 2022.
Following Becton’s season-ending knee damage, the Jets introduced in Duane Brown to begin at left sort out. While Fant initially claimed the LT gig, it seems like he’ll change again to RT to welcome in his skilled teammate. As a Pro Bowl alternate final season, Brown demonstrated that he can nonetheless function at a excessive degree regardless of his age, and the Jets will clearly be relying on him to stay an efficient blindside blocker for no less than the 2022 marketing campaign.
The Jets bought a mixed 50 catches for 534 yards and three touchdowns from their tight ends final season. While they didn’t essentially fill the holes with attractive names, they added a pair of reliable TEs who they will instantly pop into the lineup. C.J. Uzomah had a profession 12 months with the Bengals in 2021, hauling in 49 catches for 493 yards and 5 touchdowns earlier than including one other 15 receptions for 146 yards and one rating within the playoffs. Tyler Conklin had a breakout season with the Vikings, ending with 61 receptions for 593 yards and three scores. Conklin profiles as largely a receiving TE, however Uzomah has the blocking prowess to play in any state of affairs.
On the defensive aspect of the ball, the Jets targeted on including depth to their secondary. Bryce Hall and Brandin Echols began a mixed 31 video games at cornerback final season, however the duo will seemingly be demoted following the additions of rookie Sauce Gardner (who we’ll get to later) and free-agent acquisition D.J. Reed. A former backup in San Francisco, Reed began 22 video games for the Seahawks over the previous two seasons, together with a 2021 marketing campaign throughout which he completed with a career-high 78 tackles and 10 passes defended. Pro Football Focus was significantly keen on his efficiency, rating him eighth amongst 166 qualifying cornerbacks final 12 months. Reed ought to instantly slide into the beginning lineup together with Gardner and nickelback Michael Carter II.
Elsewhere on their secondary, the Jets signed Jordan Whitehead so as to add some depth at security. The former fourth-round choose began 55 of his 59 video games for the Buccaneers between 2018 and 2021, and he helps add a championship pedigree to a squad striving for a easy postseason look. Whitehead was firmly within the top-third of PFF’s rating of the league’s safeties, and his run-defending skill ought to turn out to be useful alongside a questionable entrance seven. The identical sentiment applies to Marcell Harris, a former security who largely performed linebacker with the 49ers final season.
While the Jets entrance workplace did an admirable job of filling their wants this offseason, there are nonetheless some query marks surrounding their entrance seven, particularly their linebackers corps. The latest signing of Kwon Alexander will definitely assist, however his constant damage points will most likely restrict him to a backup position. Jacob Martin was additionally introduced in as some depth at LB, however he profiles as extra of a DE in Robert Saleh’s 4-3 protection. Solomon Thomas will present some depth behind defensive tackles Quinnen Williams and John Franklin-Myers.
The Jets relied on Matt Ammendola and Eddy Pineiro at kicker final season, with the duo connecting on solely 77.8 p.c of their field-goal makes an attempt, the seventh-worst mark within the NFL. The Jets introduced in veteran Greg Zuerlein to hopefully present some consistency on the place. Greg The Leg linked on 82.9 p.c of his field-goal makes an attempt in every of the previous two seasons, however he completed the 2021 marketing campaign having linked on a career-worst 87.5 p.c of his extra-point tries.
- Marcus Maye, S
- Foley Fatukasi, DT
- Jarrad Davis, LB
- Morgan Moses, OT
- Greg Van Roten, G (released)
- Tyler Kroft, TE
- Ryan Griffin, TE (released)
- Jamison Crowder, WR
- Keelan Cole, WR
- Matt Ammendola, Okay (released)
The Jets misplaced a handful of contributors through the offseason, however the majority of these exits have been accounted for. Marcus Maye was a constant starter throughout his tenure in New York, however he was restricted to solely six video games in 2021 due to a torn Achilles. The Jets ended up pivoting to Jordan Whitehead, who earned about half of what Maye bought from the Saints. Plus, Lamarcus Joyner is again after showing in just one sport final season.
Elsewhere on defense, Folorunso Fatukasi is gone after beginning a career-high 15 video games final season. He ended up grading out as a middle-of-the-road inside defender on PFF, and with Quinnen Williams, John Franklin-Myers, and Solomon Thomas round, Fatukasi was made expendable. Jarrad Davis began 5 of his 9 video games for the Jets final season, ending with 25 tackles. Considering the workforce’s lack of LB depth, it’s most likely fairly telling that the entrance workplace was keen to let him stroll.
The Jets additionally misplaced some starting-caliber gamers alongside their offensive line. Morgan Moses began 16 of his 17 video games final season, whereas Greg Van Roten began 23 of his 30 appearances over the previous two years. The signing of Laken Tomlinson helps make these losses extra palatable, and whereas both of Moses or Van Roten would have offered some much-needed depth, they have been unlikely to crack the beginning lineup.
Tyler Kroft and Ryan Griffin began a mixed 18 video games final season, however the duo completed with solely 43 complete receptions. The Jets’ replacements on the place (C.J. Uzomah, Tyler Conklin) received’t set the world on hearth, however they’re undoubtedly an improve over what the workforce was counting on in 2021. The identical may most likely be mentioned at broad receiver, though Jamison Crowder was one of many workforce’s most constant offensive weapons over the previous three years (63 catches per season). Keelan Cole additionally confirmed flashes in 2021, averaging 16 yards on his 28 receptions. Fortunately, the workforce nonetheless has loads of depth on the place, with Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, Garrett Wilson, Denzel Mims and Braxton Berrios offering some intrigue.
The Jets made positive to retain some depth items on either side of the ball. Lamarcus Joyner and Vinny Curry have been each introduced in by the Jets final offseason, however the two acquisitions mixed for just one sport. Joyner bounced out and in of the Raiders’ beginning lineup through the 2019 and 2020 seasons, and he was largely graded as a below-average security throughout these two years. The Jets didn’t surrender an entire lot to convey him again, and whereas he’s projected to begin at security, he may see some strain from Ashtyn Davis and Jason Pinnock. Curry was sidelined for the complete 2021 marketing campaign after being recognized with a uncommon blood dysfunction that required the removing of his spleen. He re-signed with the Jets this offseason, a constructive indication that he’s doing higher, however he’ll nonetheless have an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster.
While offseason reports indicate that Joe Flacco has outshined Zach Wilson throughout coaching camp, the previous Super Bowl champ can be fortunate to see the sphere an entire lot throughout a pivotal season for his place mate — until, in fact, Wilson does find yourself lacking the beginning of the season along with his knee damage. Mike White additionally made a reputation for himself whereas guiding the Jets to one in every of their 4 wins, and he’ll stick round as some insurance coverage behind Wilson and Flacco (and, doubtlessly, as a future QB2 as soon as Flacco hangs up his cleats). Both of those re-signings have proved to be significantly necessary following Wilson’s preseason damage.
Braxton Berrios has continued to enhance on offense, and he had a profession 12 months in 2021 after ending with 46 receptions for 431 yards. The Jets have been wanting to convey him again, however at finest, he’ll slide in behind Corey Davis, Elijah Moore and Garrett Wilson on the depth chart. Tevin Coleman can be extra of an offensive depth piece. While his 2021 numbers didn’t come near matching his finest days in Atlanta, he nonetheless rebounded properly following a 2020 marketing campaign in San Francisco. Coleman will seemingly stick round as a veteran again behind latest draft picks Breece Hall and Michael Carter.
Nathan Shepherd and Dan Feeney are depth items alongside the defensive and offensive line, respectively. Shepherd has no less than three gamers firmly forward of him on the DT depth chart, whereas Feeney will seemingly function the backup heart to Connor McGovern.
The Jets entered the draft loaded with picks, and so they made positive to consolidate these alternatives to get the gamers they wished. They didn’t must make any strikes to get their man with the fourth general choose. While the Jets entrance workplace presumably would have favored to have used their first choice on a pass-rusher like Aidan Hutchinson or Travon Walker, the 2 gamers have been chosen throughout the prime three. Instead of reaching for a defensive lineman, the Jets settled on the clear finest participant on the board: Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner. The rookie will most likely by no means attain Darrelle Revis standing, however he has the power to be a shutdown CB (at finest) or a dependable, constant starter (at worst). The Jets had an actual want for depth at cornerback, so the rookie may have an opportunity to indicate what he’s bought through the 2022 marketing campaign.
The Jets used the tenth general choose, acquired from Seattle within the Jamal Adams commerce, to pick Ohio State wideout Garrett Wilson. The Jets had reportedly been dangling the choose in pursuit of a big-name wideout, however when these offers by no means got here to fruition, they pivoted to the draft. The rookie gives Zach Wilson with a much-needed vertical risk, and whereas he most likely received’t be enjoying on each passing down (contemplating their relative depth), there’s hope that he’ll someday mix with Elijah Moore to kind a lethal one-two punch.
The Jets lastly began wheeling and dealing later within the first spherical, shifting up from No. 35 to No. 26 to fill in a gap on their defensive position, deciding on Florida State defensive finish Jermaine Johnson II. Considering the lineman’s breakout marketing campaign in 2021, there’s some pundits who query if he’ll be capable to maintain his manufacturing within the execs, and that logic may have performed a job in him sliding down the draft board. It’s undoubtedly a high-reward choose, and when you’d often wish to convey a majority of these prospects alongside slowly, the Jets will instantly be relying on Johnson to play an necessary position on their defensive position.
The Jets later traded up two spots within the second spherical to pick the draft’s first RB, Breece Hall. You may nitpick that the Jets had larger wants than operating again, however Hall may develop right into a hotshot three-down participant. Fortunately for the Jets, they don’t want that from the rookie in 2022, as Hall will seemingly cut up carries with 2021 fourth-round choose Michael Carter to no less than begin the season.
Thanks to the Jets’ trades, they’d solely three alternatives following their top-four picks, with every of these latter decisions coming within the third and fourth spherical. Ohio State tight finish Jeremy Ruckert has been described as extra of a dirtdog than a future pass-catching star, however the Jets have the power to convey him alongside slowly following their different offseason additions on the place. The Jets have loads of future uncertainty on their offensive line, so it made sense to pick a sort out who received’t instantly must make an impression. Max Mitchell may have an opportunity to compete for the workforce’s swing sort out spot throughout coaching camp, however there’s a greater probability he’s buried on the depth chart through the 2022 season. The identical goes for defensive sort out Micheal Clemons, however the Texas A&M product has a better upside than your typical fourth-round choose. Clemons fell down the draft board due to his damage historical past, his superior age (25 by the point the season begins) and his off-the-field points (together with two arrests in a three-month span in 2021).
If there was a large receiver on the commerce block, you’ll be able to guess the Jets have been linked. The group was concerned within the extremely publicized bidding conflict for Tyreek Hill, and regardless of some optimism that they’d be capable to purchase the star WR, he ended up getting shipped to Miami. The Jets have been additionally closely linked to 49ers wideout Deebo Samuel, particularly main as much as the draft. However, these talks finally simmered earlier than Samuel inked an extension with San Francisco. It wasn’t simply these two big-name wideouts; the Jets have been additionally linked to A.J. Brown (earlier than he was traded to the Eagles), Amari Cooper (earlier than he was traded to the Browns) and D.K. Metcalf (earlier than he inked an extension to remain in Seattle).
Ultimately, the Jets didn’t purchase any of those in style receivers. This wasn’t essentially a nasty factor; as a substitute of investing a hefty chunk of cap to a different WR, they as a substitute pivoted to a less expensive different in first-round rookie Garrett Wilson. Still, the Jets’ want for a top-end WR most likely doesn’t communicate too nicely of Corey Davis‘ status with the organization. After inking a three-year, $37.5M deal with the Jets last offseason, he contributed only 34 receptions in nine games. With Wilson now in the picture and Elijah Moore having burst onto the scene, there’s an opportunity Davis doesn’t full his contract if he underperforms in 2022. The workforce’s want to accumulate a prime wideout definitely hints at this risk.
Quinnen Williams hasn’t essentially lived as much as the billing of a 3rd general choose, however the Jets nonetheless dedicated to the hulking defensive sort out for the 2023 marketing campaign. In 2021, Williams completed with 53 tackles and 6 sacks whereas getting right into a career-high 15 video games. He ended up rating thirty seventh amongst 108 qualifying inside defensive linemen candidates, per PFF, and the Jets are hoping he can take a step towards the higher echelon of the place in 2022.
Top 10 cap fees for 2022:
- C.J. Mosley, LB: $17.5M
- Carl Lawson, DE: $15.33M
- Corey Davis, WR: $13.66M
- John Franklin-Myers, DE: $12.47M
- George Fant, OT: $11.1M
- Quinnen Williams, DE: $10.55M
- Connor McGovern, C: $10.33M
- Zach Wilson, QB: $7.98M
- Sheldon Rankins, DT: $6.19M
- Ahmad Gardner, CB: $6.08M
You can nitpick among the Jets’ offseason strikes, however Douglas deserves credit score for addressing each the current and the long run. Will or not it’s sufficient to get the Jets again into the postseason? Probably not. The workforce continues to be approach too depending on younger gamers. Even if every of these first- or second-year guys exceed expectations and take a transparent step ahead, it’s nonetheless onerous to check the Jets getting the six extra wins they’d must qualify for the postseason.
Instead, a two- or three-win enchancment is a extra life like goal, and that’d nonetheless be a constructive signal for the group. Then, the Jets may eye a return to the playoffs for the 2023 marketing campaign.